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2001 Teaninich 17 Year Manager's Dram Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review: A Rare Solitary Taste of a Typical Highland Blending Component

Updated: Jul 3


Teaninich Distillery
Photo Credit: Joshua Feldman, the Coopered Tot

Teaninich Distillery is a Highland distiller of scotch whisky in Alness, Scotland. Known for mainly being a blending component for Johnnie Walker Red Label, this Manager’s Dram bottling is a rare opportunity to taste the unique character of Teaninich in peaceful solitude.


The Manger's Dram Series
Photo Credit: Joshua Feldman, the Coopered Tot

Before we dive further into Teaninich's intricate history, we wanted to thank Joshua Feldman, whisky enthusiast and writer of The Coopered Tot, for providing photos of the Teaninich Manager's Dram bottle and tasting lineup. It was a pleasure to sit with Josh, who offered a wide array of historical notes while we tasted through the Manager's Dram lineup. Speaking of, let's explore a bit more of that history now.


Teaninich distillery was built in 1817 by Napoleonic war hero and estate owner ‘Blind’ Captain Hugh Munro. He and his brother, General John Munro, were notable as benign and caring landlords in a region brutally hit by the Highland Clearances, much like Clynelish, which will be covered next.


Another local man, John Ross, took the lease in 1869 and ran the site until 1895 when it was transferred to Elgin-based blenders Munro & Cameron. It was the trustees of the late Innes Cameron who sold Teaninich to DCL in 1933.


The distilling capacity has undergone regular expansion through the years. Larger stills were installed in 1946 before the pair were doubled in 1962. In 1970 a new distillery, Teaninch ‘A Side’, with six stills was built. The two parts ran simultaneously until 1984 when the original site (‘B Side’) was silenced. The distillery ownership transferred to United Distillers and then Diageo.



At the latest Whisky Legends tasting, hosted by Gregory Cloyd, the Amongst the Whiskey Team (Nick Anderson & Jes Smyth, respectively) were fortunate enough to enjoy his beautiful garden during an evening of legendary tasting. It was a privilege to taste such rare whisky, and we are honored to share our tasting notes of the Manager's Dram lineup we explored.


 

Company on Label: Teaninich Distillery

Whiskey Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Mash Bill Percentages: 100% malted barley

Proof: 116.6°

Age: 17 years (distilled in 1984 and bottled September 3rd, 2001)

Further identification: On the front label: A 17 Year Old refill whisky specially selected by Malt Distillery Managers within GuinnessUDV and bottled at natural strength by K Gray


 

Nick's Thoughts


Nose: Instantly I’m reminded of seaside swinging on a metal swing set in Seward, Alaska, the sea and metal pipe aromas are seared in my memory. Slowly it evolved into a baked Alaska dish, consisting of vanilla ice cream, white cake, and browned meringue.


Palate: My first sip is a tingly piece of ginger on the tongue. I also find wild geranium flower petals and a long linger of incredibly subtle smoke. Really the smoke is barely even noticeable, but the linger continues to dance like a seaweed sushi wrap.


Jes's Thoughts


Note: An immediate richness rises out of my glass with a sweetness that mimics creaming butter and sugar with an electric mixer. A distinct saltiness transforms the nose, rushing ocean waves, and wisps of smoky sea air.


Palate: Sweet toasted marshmallow and puffs of gentle smoke dance across my tongue. Salted butter and soft white pepper coat my mouth while wispy smoke lingers. I'm surprised by the little bit of smoke lacing throughout as this is an unpeated whisky. However, it was not off-putting in the least (and I'm sensitive to peat!).


 

Rating: 3/5


While one whisky enthusiast at the table, Jacob, who runs the Maryland chapter of Dead Malt Society, described this pour as the "punk rock younger sister to Clynleish," Nick and Jes didn't feel like this was quite their jam. But it was a really fun opportunity to see one of the Johnnie Walker Red components stand on its own.


 

Written by: The Amongst the Whiskey Team


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