Review: Teacher’s Highland Cream Circa 1970’s

Whisky is represents many things to so many people. A consideration that does tend to be overlooked is the sentimental aspect whether it is to celebrate a special occasion or a bottle as a memento. In my own collection I have bottles that financially are not the crown jewels on a spreadsheet, but are worth their weight in gold from a sentimental aspect. This brings me nicely to this example of a Teacher’s blended whisky.
My grandfather like so many of his generation had a spirits cupboard and by all accounts whisky was his favourite tipple and specifically Teacher’s. This bottle would have been from the late 70’s and is an oversized example likely bought my grandparents on a foreign holiday. Unfortunately the cap was slightly cracked by a family member who was putting the bottle aside for me although the seal remains intact. I’ll be monitoring the level just in case as a precaution. However this is the perfect example as to why you never lift a bottle by its seal – especially older or larger bottles.
Opening such sentimental bottles is a difficult decision as there is something to be said for keeping the bottle intact but also enjoying the contents. In this situation I would have kept the bottle unopened but thankfully I didn’t need to make that decision as there was another bottle of Teacher’s inside the cabinet and this was actually already open. So the last person to drink from this would have been my granddad which is an emotional thought. This specific bottle isn’t as large as the unopened example but is still 75cl.

Now given my previous experience with the 1970’s Haig bottle where the contents were spoiled, I was expecting more of the same here. Thankfully the contents are in good nick. That old spirits cabinet with its constant temperature shrouded in darkness, combined with a decent seal has ensured little impact on the spirit.

Blend: Teachers Highland Cream
Strength: 40%

Colour: golden syrup

Aroma: a blast of apricots, a slice of banana, some macerated raisins, a touch of smoke, vanilla and fruit loaf.

Taste: there is a creamy current but its the light waft of smoke that comes through more for me here with strawberries and cream in the background. Far from a layered experience it is easily drinkable.

Teacher’s is a solid blend and very affordable nowadays. Older versions including other blends if you can find them are still affordable and worthwhile to experience whiskies before the dawn of computerised Scotch. This is a bottle I will enjoy for more reasons than the contents right till the last drop. Slainte mhaith George.


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