Teaninich 2006/2014 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, First Fill Sherry Hogsheads, AD/JFBG)

More than four years ago I wrote a review about another Teaninich from the Gordon & MacPhail’s Connoisseurs Choice range. That one was distilled in 1983 and bottled in 2003, so that one was bottled before this one was even distilled! Reading back I see the mindset I was in at the time. The first decade I was interested in Single Malt Whisky, I hardly ever bought something that was reduced with water to “drinking strength”. If I bought anything from an independent bottler, it was most certainly bottled at cask strength. Today I still very much like my whiskies at cask strength, but I don’t have a problem anymore buying something reduced, as long as they didn’t reduce it too much. Old malts, distilled in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s seem to have some power left in them, when bottled at 40% ABV, but more modern malts need a higher a ABV. 43% seemed a bit of a compromise, but the 46% we see today, is doing the trick for me. So, two weeks ago I caught myself red-handed with a bag of no less than four of Gordon & MacPhail’s Connoisseurs Choice bottlings! Go figure. As I’m a fan of Teaninich, I hardly could wait opening this one, so finally I didn’t even manage to wait for 24 hours…

Teaninich 2006/2014 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice, First Fill Sherry Hogsheads, ADJFBG)Color: Reddish gold.

Nose: Waxy, fruity and with a nice toasted oak aroma as well. Biscuity and a warm smell of lovely barley and cereal. Right now I already want to stop smelling this, and have a sip, but I’ll wait. The toasted aroma becomes more complex since it turns a wee bit into coal and even boasts a slightly tarry note. A breath of fresh air comes next, laced with alcohol. Reminding me of high quality and ultra soft rye Vodka. Hey, give it a break, it’s a very young Whisky. Bread and toasted bread obviously. Grassy and still waxy. Waxy, red blushed, apple skins? Slightly floral notes mixed in with coffee-creamer. Somewhat sweet and a nice note of vanilla. Since these are Sherry hoggies, I’m guessing the hoggies were made from American Oak. This is only a 7 or 8 years old Whisky, so it shouldn’t be too complex, but you don’t hear me complaining. I understand what it is, and I think it is pretty impressive already, at this age. Well balanced and I guess the casks were pretty good as well. They will do just nicely as second fill casks.

Taste: Definitely starts with a Sherry note. First fill casks all right. I guess they bottled this rather quickly, since the Sherry already starts to dominate the Whisky. My guess would be a Sherry matured under flor. Initially sweet (but not for long, because some white pepper comes to the fore). Waxy again and notes of paper and not of wood, although the paper note seems to make way for a more bitter woody note eventually. A tad funky and slightly less balanced than the nose promised. More Sherry (& flor) wood, with even some slight soapy notes. Don’t worry. Even though this is bottled at 46% ABV., it doesn’t even seem that strong. Sure its fruity, but in a more sugared kind of way. Perfumed lemon curd. Hidden behind the waxy and soapy wood. Surprisingly, the finish isn’t very long, giving away its relative youth.

Let me warn you about the new Gordon & MacPhail packaging. I had an open-topped Whisky bag and the experienced salesman, shoved the metal lids into the cartons instead of leaving them on the cartons. I would have lost them otherwise. I tried this at home and he was absolutely right. Just grabbing the carton and the lid already pops off, weakening the structure, with a possibility of dropping the lot on the floor. This is the 21st century isn’t it? Sort it out people. And it’s not only Gordon & MacPhail. Signatory have tins of which the lid comes popping off as well. The folded cardboard stuff some Diageo bottlings come in, can spontaneously unfold under your arm when carrying slightly too much Whisky at a time. That way I saw a bottle of Talisker slowly disappear from under the firm grip of my armpit onto the welcoming tiled floor.

Points: 84

16-3-2017: I just finished this bottle and I have to add that it got gradually better over time. This really needs to breathe to show all of its huge potential, even though its just a reduced young Whisky. A have a soft spot for Teaninich and this one really didn’t dissapoint me again. I Love it. I’ll give it a point more, and maybe I should have given two…

Points: 85

Teaninich 1983/2003 (46%, Gordon & MacPhail, Connoisseurs Choice)

Teaninich isn’t amongst those superstars of Single Malt Whiskies around, but it has a fanatical following with certain enthusiasts. Well I’m one of them. Almost every time I taste a Teaninich, blind or not, this always tickles my fancy. I connect with it. It suits my palate. Dare we say: “For reasons not even science can wholly explain…”

Teaninich was founded in 1817. In 1970, yes a small jump in time, a whole new six still ‘distillery’ was built alongside the current one, consisting of four stills. The new one was called the A-side (The old stuff was therefore called the B-Side). They worked together as one distillery. In 1984 the old distillery was mothballed, and 15 years later, demolished.

Not a lot of officials around. A 10yo Flora & Fauna bottling, three and a half Rare Malts editions, one 17yo Manager’s Dram, and one 1996 Manager’s Choice. That’s it. Luckily there are a lot more independents, which brings us to our whisky of the day: A Gordon & MacPhail Teaninich from 1983, which can be from The A or B-side.

Color: Copper Gold.

Nose: Fresh, citrussy, and toffee. Vegetal, woody spiciness. Perfumy and hints of smoke and licorice. Great balance. The nose has body. I’m bonding with my Teaninich again.

Taste: Sweet, fruity, cherries and apricots. Nice body, luckily not reduced to death. Fantastic, that in 2003 it’s already 46% ABV and not less. It has wood, but without the sourness. Lots of esters. Great!

A long time ago I gave this 88 points. Not being a fan of ‘modern’ Connoisseurs Choice bottlings, since they could be all the same, and having the same color, and so on, but this one is great and deserves at least 88 points.

Points: 88

P.S. the picture is for the 2004 version. I tasted the 2003 version, but both look the same.