June 26th - 2019

Whisky Tastings and Notes​ From:

Master of Malt & our Chairman: Benjamin Chappell 

Teaninich

The Teaninich Distillery is one shrouded in mystery. Founded in 1817, the Highland single malt whisky producer today has an annual capacity of 10.2 million litres and distills for brands including Haig Dimple, VAT 69 and Johnnie Walker. Despite its size and stature (it’s Diageo’s third-largest whisky distillery, covering more than 20 acres), there’s not much out there about Teaninich as a whisky in its own right – which is rather a shame as the liquid exudes as much character and body as its two illustrious near-neighbours: Dalmore and Glenmorangie. 

It was Captain Hugh Munro, head of the local clan, who set up Teaninich more than 200 years ago. Fun fact: in 1887 it became the first distillery north of Inverness to have electricity and a telephone. Teaninich remained in Munro family hands up until 1904, when Robert Innes Cameron, formerly a major shareholder, became the sole owner. After his death in 1932, the site was acquired by Distillery Company Limited the following year. Teaninich was passed from pillar to post through various mergers and acquisitions during the latter part of the 20th century, and today the distillery is of course owned by Diageo. 

If Teaninich is well-known for anything it is surely its unique blend of historic whisky distilling and cutting-edge technology – for example, it is one of just two Scotch distilleries to up its efficiency through using a mash filter instead of a mash tun or lauter tun. This focus on modernity has only accelerated in recent years: in 2013 Diageo invested £26 million in the site, essentially constructing a brand new, six-still-strong stillhouse and more than doubling capacity. In total, the site boasts 20 washbacks, six wash stills and six spirit stills, and 90% of its incoming barley is grown in Scotland.

Teaninich is one of those rare whiskies where official bottlings are outranked by third-party products – and there aren’t even that many of those. Diageo has only launched one official expression from its Flora and Fauna range, and a 17 year old forms part of the Special Releases 2017 collection.

Teaninich 10 Year Old - Flora and Fauna

A rare 10 year old from the Eastern Highland distillery, Teaninich. The Flora and Fauna series are becoming increasingly rare.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

The nose is quite frgrant with fruit and a greenness.

Notes of cut hay and chamomile, hints of wood resins and potpourri with a little winter spice and a gentle citric acidity.

The palate is of medium-body with a pleasant dryness. There are notes of barley sugars and cereal notes. There are some oily herbal notes with more of that citric acidity developing with a hint of espresso. The finish is quite dry and of medium-length with its gentle cut grasses.

Benjamin Chappell - ​notes

A stunning little dram from the Highlands and so pleased we got to taste it in our clubhouse. Looks beautiful in the bottle and even better in the glass!

Has a Yellow Gold colour to it.

 

Visual Texture: Medium. 

Nose: Fresh cut grass, fruits and driftwood

Taste: Two teaspoons of water needed. You are hit with a sharp fresh lemon taste, then a little nutty with some spice 

Finish: Dry, fresh and herbal. 

In my book, this whisky is beautiful. I added two teaspoons of water, just to bring out the flavours and I'm glad I did. A fresh whisky but has to be drunk at the right time of day and in the right surroundings. I would say this whisky is not one for a newbie, as it can be a little challenging. 

My Rating score 82//100

Priced at £50.45

70cl, ABV 43% 

Balblair 12 Year Old

In early 2019, Balblair's core range received a relaunch, eschewing the vintages that had previously adorned the bottles in favour of age statements! This is the entry level expression of the range, a 12 year old single malt matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and double-fired American oak casks. Though the vintages are gone, Balblair's whisky retains its marvellous creaminess and fruit-forward flavour profile.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Waxy peels, sponge cake, soft cedar earthiness and some nutmeg.

Palate: Juicy red apple and cooked pear, with layers of honey and barley developing.

Finish: Honey continues, with some milky tea and sultana notes for company.

Benjamin Chappell - ​notes

A truly wonderful whisky here. Just resting in your glass, you can smell the sweet aroma coming from it and into your nose.   

Has a Pale Straw colour to it.

 

Visual Texture: Light to Medium. 

Nose: Dried banana, fruits of pear and apple, vanilla and nutmeg

Taste: One teaspoon of water needed. 

Apple, toffee and hints of dark chocolate

Finish: Honey, vanilla and leaves a sweet spice on your palette 

A stunning little dram. Full of fruit and and creamy flavours. Nose is wonderful and the taste and finish are superb. Would buy again and looking forward to trying more from this distillery.

My Rating score 92//100

Priced at £43.84

70cl, ABV 46% 

Craigellachie 13 Year Old

One of the three official Craigellachie bottlings released in 2014, their 13 year old single malt Scotch whisky handsomely shows off the bold, robust character of the distillery's output. Oodles of dynamic fruit notes with a distinctive current of smoke running through the middle. Single malt Craigellachie hasn't been seen much outside of indie bottlings recently, so this is an ace return to our glasses from the distillery!

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Apple orchards in bloom, slightly meaty, burnt popcorn, treacle tart.

Palate: Oily malt arrives first, followed by BBQ pineapple and summer berries. Pine nuts and almonds.

Finish: A very soft hint of sulphur hides behind biscuit and apple notes.

Benjamin Chappell - ​notes

A whisky with a kick. Lovely dram, especially on cold winter nights!

Has an Auburn colour to it.

 

Visual Texture: Light to Medium. 

Nose:Mix of fruits, ham and honey

Taste: One teaspoon of water needed. 

Punchy and full-flavoured, with the meaty smoke balancing well with the refreshing tropical fruit.

Finish: Smoky but enjoyable bbq flavours

A nice dram but more for an experience whiskey drinker.

My Rating score 84//100

Priced at £45.90

70cl, ABV 46% 

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