Reviews of affordable whiskies with some entertaining tales along the way…
This is part four of a series of reviews covering some recent single cask single malt releases from independent bottler, Lady of the Glen. On this occasion, I’ll be sampling a spirit that was produced at Teaninich Distillery back in 2010.
Teaninich is a highland malt produced at a distillery in Alness, near the Cromarty Firth in the north of Scotland. It was established in 1817 but today, it forms part of Diageo’s Scotch whisky empire and spends much of its time producing whisky for use in the owner’s blended Scotch brands. Official releases are few and far between but indie bottlings are quite frequent.
The whisky was distilled in 2010 and bottled in early ’23. It’s 12 years old and spent most of its time in a hogshead before being transferred to an Aquavit* Barrel for a finishing period of four years. It’s bottled at 57.3% abv.
*Aquavit is a spirit commonly produced in Scandinavian countries. It’s usually distilled from a fermented potato or grain mash and then later re-distilled with various herbs and spices. The spirit is usually bottled without ageing but some producers, particularly in Norway, barrel age their Aquavit, often preferring old sherry casks.
For part one of this series visit here
For part two of this series visit here
For part three of this series visit here
Lady of the Glen Teaninich 12-year-old
*Full disclosure: the sample featured in this review was sent to me free of charge. As always I will strive to give an honest opinion on the quality of the dram and the value for money it represents.
Smell: The finishing cask has given it a herbal, spicy nose. You could be forgiven for thinking you were nosing a Rye. Fennel, clove, anise and cinnamon sticks. Also toffee and red fruit notes. Touch of citrus. Weirdly, reminded me of Spanish Tomato Bread.
Taste: It’s a big arrival with a burst of spicy flavour as soon as it meets the tongue. Rye bread. Winter spices – like the packets of spice mix you put in mulled wine. There’s also lots of caramel and toffee and a little citrus touch again. Even some dark chocolate as it moves into a dry, slightly bitter, oaky finish. There are some hints of vanilla cream and grassy malt that linger in the background, just outwith the influence of the finishing cask.
Thoughts: Once again, Lady of the Glen manages to nail the finish. Once again, the cask leads the experience but doesn’t swamp the spirit. And, once again, they’ve created something interesting and delicious. As I mentioned above, there’s a definite hint of a rye whisk(e)y here and the dram could appeal to fans of that style. It should also satisfy anyone with a thirst for big, bold flavours because there’s a lot going on in the glass. It’s incredibly fragrant, in an exotic way and it’s spicy without ever being hot. An Aquavit Cask Finish is a new one on me but on this evidence, I hope it won’t be the last time I encounter it.
Price: £77. Thankfully the price isn’t too extreme. £77 puts it at a level where people can actually afford to buy and open it – and that’s what we want to see.
For more on Lady of the Glen: https://www.ladyoftheglen.com/