A Speysider to close September (this Longmorn) and a Speysider to start October (this Glenburgie); let’s move to the Highlands for a bit. Here is a 10 yo Teaninich, the first of two this week, both bottled by the SMWS in the last couple of years. Unlike Longmorn and Glenburgie, Teaninich does not have a reputation for very fruity malt; its profile is quite a lot more austere in comparison. So at least have been most of the few I’ve had—the one exception being this very old one from Malts of Scotland). At 10 years old I doubt this will be quite that fruity. Let’s see if that in fact proves to be the case.
Teaninich 10, 2008 (56.2%; SMWS 59.56; refill hogshead; from a bottle split)
Nose: Quite austere to start with a bit of olive oil, wax and a touch of lemon and grass (but not lemongrass); some tart green apples too. Some sweeter fruit as it sits but also some bitter lemon peel. Continues in this vein. With a lot more time and air it becomes less austere and there’s some cream now and a fair bit of malt and cereals. Water softens it further and pulls out more of the malt and turns the fruit muskier.
Palate: Much more acidic on the palate with lime zest, cider plus some white pepper and chalk. Nice mouth-coating texture. More citrus and less chalk with time and the late-developing malt and cereals from the nose show up as well. Okay, let’s see what water does. Pretty much what it does on the nose: the fruit is muskier here with lots of apple and pear and sweeter cider than before.
Finish: Medium-long. As on the palate, getting more peppery as it goes. Less peppery with water and otherwise mosly as on the palate. Goes on much longer now and there’s some roasted malt at the end.
Comments: Extremely un-sexy but absolutely flawless whisky. It doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table but everything it brings is solid. I liked it better with water.
Rating: 87 points.
I pricked my ears at the combination “Teaninich” and “austere”. I only had one bottle of Teaninich in my life, 1998 10yo Prime Malt bottled at 40% no less, and this is how my notes started:
“Nose: Austere, zesty (appetizing), farmy (horse stables, ploughed field in the rain), clean but not clinical.”
The rest of the notes also echo your experience with your (different) bottle. I want more Teaninich in my life!
“Jonathan apples, lemons, but also grains. Rich, in an unusual, very dry, way. Also, very fresh-floral in the background, like a forest meadow during rain. Body: medium, but firm. Taste: Consistent with the nose, some sourness, some bitterness, but always a very solid dry but warming malty core. Just enough cask influence to balance the sharp notes. Finish: Long and dry, satisfying. Comments: This whisky is not for everyone, and not for every day, but it certainly has personality – it’s no pushover! Very little cask influence (or it’s the young age), so the whisky is very clean and honest. The quality of the spirit comes to the fore, and that is very good. A very refreshing experience, at the opposite pole of a finished cask! 87pts.”