It’s not often we get to talk about Teaninich here at Malt, never mind a rather impressively aged 44 year old single malt. Why not combine both for a memorable review? Well, here goes…
Teaninich is a relatively overlooked distillery within the Diageo arsenal despite being a major producer. Even if you visit the town of Alness in Ross & Cromarty, all the signs, plaudits and attention goes towards another distillery. The Dalmore that is just a short drive around the corner from Teaninch. Its even has a more picturesque setting overlooking the Cromarty Firth and across to the Black Isle, whereas Teaninich is set at the end of what is now an industrial estate. Whilst Dalmore is synonymous with extravagant price tags, wine casks and tanning products, Teaninich is known for what exactly?
On paper, it’s a very intriguing distillery for a variety of reasons. Sadly I missed the opportunity to tour the distillery, which is normally closed to the public during the Dornoch Whisky Festival. A difficult decision to make, but I had to go with the Brora VIP tour and a stunning array of whiskies plus access to the silent giant that at the time was not due to be revived. Still, the thought of what might have been endured.
When it comes to Teaninich I like to think of it as an interesting example of old and new. Established in 1817, it’s been around much longer than you’d imagine. It’s perhaps best known for not operating a mash tun since 2000. Instead preferring to utilise a modern invention in the form of a hammer mill and mash filter. This technology has never really caught on as such and Teaninich was only recently joined by Inchdarnie distillery in Glenrothes, Fife, who also sought to utilise this method. Needless to say, our whisky predates this technique so we’ll move onto something more tangible.
The Teaninich was bottled at an impressive 44 years of age. Distilled in 1973 before being bottled in 2017 at a strength of 51.5%, just 90 bottles were produced from a sherry butt for the Whiskyfair Takao 2017. My thanks to Noortje once again for the sample and wonderful photographs – you can check out her thoughts on this whisky as well.
The Whisky Exchange Teaninich 1973 – review
Colour: a light honey
On the nose: initially, impressions are winey and syrup based. Thick and luscious. A floral heather note then the cask influence comes through with red grapes, honeycomb, red liquorice and it must be said red velvet cake. Overly ripe apples, pineapple, tangerines and interestingly chalky as well. Water brings out more of the fruit aspect with a little putty, caramel and orange oil.
In the mouth: an interesting dynamic at play here. There’s a tug of war between grapefruit and a mineral aspect. The sherry cask doesn’t come through as much on the palate. A slight nutty aspect and roasted coffee beans towards the finish. It’s quite tart. Add water and leave for a wee while. It becomes more rounded with apples, white chocolate and wine gums.
A whisky that has some confidence but doesn’t come across as 44 years of age. Not a hugely active cask so you’re left to contemplate an interesting experience and most likely the oldest Teaninich I’ll ever taste. Enjoyable, but nothing sensational or outlandish. Thankful for the experience and we’ll try and cover more Teaninich’s here at Malt this year.