...where distraction is the main attraction.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Whisky Fail! Teaninich 10 year old 1998 Prime Malt

Yep, a Saturday post!

Teaninich (which I keep misspelling) is now one of Diageo's monstrous malt-for-blends-only distilleries.  When Diageo announced its 2012 dreams of completing a £1billion distillery expansion, one of the main projects was a new £50 million distillery at the Teaninich site.  Two years later Diageo shelved majority of their big plans, but (according to Malt Whisky Yearbook 2016) they did wind up adding six new stills to Teaninich, thus doubling its production capacity.  So now it distills nearly 10 million liters of alcohol per year.  Which is a lot.  Yet, other than the old 10yo Flora & Fauna bottling, there still isn't an official single malt.  There aren't even any Special Releases of the stuff.

So, once again, it's up to the indies to reveal a distillery's secrets.  Today's subject, a Prime Malt release from Gordon Bonding (which had a connection with Duncan Taylor once upon a time) is one such indie bottling, and one of the rare Teaninichs to be sold in the US.  I enjoyed the whisky when Florin shared his bottle with me three years ago.  I also poured a sample to take home and review.  Again, that was three years ago.  I had planned on making this the first review of this week's "The Other Ts", but something went wrong.

Distillery: Teaninich
Ownership: Diageo
Region: North Highlands
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: minimum 10 years
Distillation year: 1998
Maturation: ex-bourbon casks
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chillfiltered? ???
Caramel Colored? Probably not

The color is light amber.  Though it's also slightly opaque thanks to some cloudiness.  It has a nice pilsner nose, free of oak.  In fact, it's very beer-y (minus any hops).  A little bit of lemon zest.  Dandelion flowers.  Some slight metal and dusty notes.  At first sip, the palate is full of hay, vanilla, and roasted coffee beans.  Second sip, whisky wash.  Third sip, chlorophyll (leaves and lettuces).  Fourth sip, capital 'A' Acrid.  Broccoli.  No fifth sip because I don't like where this is heading.  It finishes very vegetal.  Peas, green beans, kale, and broccoli.  And metal.

For three years this whisky sat half empty in a sample bottle, where it died.  Totally bummed about this.  The nose is probably pretty close to the original thing.  But I can tell you with confidence my sample's palate and finish were ruined.

Sometimes samples go wrong, and rather than just tossing aside this experience I thought I'd share it with you.  So if you have a sample collection, look through your bottles and make sure they're more than half full lest oxygen wreak havoc on your little lovelies.  This has been a public service announcement.

Availability - A few bottles remain on random shelves throughout the US
Pricing - Less than $40, usually
Rating - Sample fail!