I remember wistfully three long, long months ago, back when it was possible to go out in public. I was instead sitting in this very chair doing an online Twitter whisky tasting with That Boutique-y Whisky Company. I still have a number of those samples left, but one of my favorites of the samples we tasted was this Teaninich 11 year. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had Teaninich before, so I didn’t have much to compare it to. However, I really appreciate when a young scotch shows vibrancy and potency instead of paint thinner and malt liquor.
A very pale single malt from an ex-bourbon cask, and bottled at the potent but also very drinkable 47.9% ABV, this Teaninich makes me want to go find other (cheaper) bottles from the distillery. Those will all have to be from independent bottlers as well, as there are no official bottlings from this distillery aside from an occasional entry in Diageo’s Flora and Fauna series, most of which doesn’t make it to US. Speaking of which, this Boutique-y release appears to only be available in the UK.
Nose: Awesome green pear, assorted florals, honeysuckle etc. Someone in the Twitter tasting said lemonade. Yup. Candied pear drops.
Palate: A little banana up front, with a nice even tongue burn, not too hot at all. Just lets you know it’s there. Thin body, but the flavor turns syrup-like quickly. Sweet and light, fruit-forward but with a background of clean cereal grains. Pleasant. A rest in the glass adds more banana (banana cream pie?), and the body actually firms up, becoming silky.
Finish: Creamy, with vanilla and fresh dairy cream notes. A little kiwi maybe? Exits quickly but with no off-flavors and with minimal bitterness.
With Water: A few drops bring out a lot more cereal grains but they’re a little musty, like wet hay. The water kills some of the fruit and thins the palate, too. It does add a lot of sweetness – sugar cubes! – to the finish, which is fun. Water optional.
Overall: Fresh and crisp. This would be forgettable at 40% ABV, but here it’s nicely present and active. By color and flavor it’s clear this is from ex-bourbon, likely a refill cask. It shows the raw expression of Teaninich, which is cereal-driven but adorned with plenty of fresh vibrant green fruit. A fun dram, and a great way to experience Teaninich if you haven’t before.