...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, February 28, 2022

Teaninich 18 year old 1984 Signatory, cask 4097

Ah yes, Diageo. You may have heard of them. I may have written extensively about them more than eight years ago, noting their predecessor's involvement with Thalidomide, highlighting the company's illegal merger, detailing their whisky faults, and announcing I was boycotting their products.

The boycott was mostly successful. I bought a few 200mL bottles along the way, maybe a blend or two. I don't know. A lot of things have happened in these eight years, and I've found plenty of circumstances to be more concerning than beverage conglomerates. That's not to say that I'm going to run out and start buying Diageo products, but I'm not really running out to buy scotch of any kind right now.

Taking all of this into consideration, or ignoring it altogether, I have a lot of samples from Diageo's distilleries. So I'm spending the next thirty-five days offering up three Diageo distillery, or Diageo-adjacent, posts per week, with the occasional additional theme thrown in.

This week, I bring ye a trio of independently-bottled Teaninichs. One of The Big D's unheralded super-sized facilities, Teaninininininich is a distillery I should probably know more of. Thus I'll begin with a completely irrelevant whisky bottled two decades ago, during the Signatory Dumpy Times.

Distillery: Teaninich
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Northern-ish Highlands
Independent Bottler: Signatory Vintage
Age: 18 years old (17 May 1984 - 03 February 2003)
Maturation: "Oak cask" (information!)
Cask number: 4097
Outturn: 254 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 57.6%
(from a bottle split)


The nose starts off slightly skunky. As in, actual skunk spray. Then there's bread crust, soil and cocoa powder, which curiously work together. It slowly adds new twists. First, sage smudge. Then, candied pecans. Finally, a cloves+cinnamon spice box note.

Oh, this is unique to my palate. My brain says, "Malt Wine", but is unwilling to define that. So, here's a try: Mix toffee, oranges, barley and Brazil nuts. Then gradually add cassis and Manuka honey. It has just the right amount of heat. Just the right amount of crazy.

It finishes long and sweet, with menthol, honey, cassis, oranges and......Fernet-Branca!


Now that's a trip I enjoyed. Perhaps the cask had a curious history, but I think the spirit was the happy culprit. Though the distillery now has a mash filter setup that produces unique results, this whisky was distilled 16 years before the filter was installed. In fact, Teaninich's older "B" distillery was retired the same year this whisky was casked, so perhaps that facility created something less controlled here? No matter what, I loved this stuff. It was new experience, and I need new experiences. 

Availability - Auctions, maybe?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 89

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