The almost unknown Teaninich single malt comes from the village of Alness in Ross Shire ,and it is a near neighbour to the much more famous Dalmore distillery. It was founded and built in 1817 by Hugh Munro on his estate of Teaninich Castle.Despite an initial difficulty of procuring barley owing to a high demand from illegal distilleries, by 1830 Teaninich produced 30 times more spirit than it did at its founding. At that point Munro sold the distillery to his younger brother Lieutenant-General John Munro. As an officer he spent most of his time in India, so he decided to rent the distillery out to various people until1898 Robert Innes Cameron took a stake in the distillery, and Munro and Cameron renovated and extended the distillery, investing £10,000 in the process. In 1904 Cameron, who also owned stakes in Benrinnes, Linkwood and Tamdhu, took over the distillery completely. After Cameron died in 1933 the distillery was sold to Scottish Malt Distillers. In 1970 the distillery was greatly expanded, and an entire new building with six new stills was taken in operation. The four older stills remained in operation alongside the new stills. The old side of the distillery was then updated over the next decade. First, new installations for milling, mashing and fermentation were built in 1973, and in 1975 the distillery added a dark grains plant, which produces cattle feed from the draff. In 1984 the old side of the distillery was mothballed, and the new side followed the next year, temporarily ending production. The new side of the distillery resumed production in 1991. In 2000 a mash filter press was installed in the distillery, which is unique in Scottish malt whisky production; all other Scottish whisky distilleries use mash tuns.
In April 2013 owner Diageo announced a new renovation of the distillery. They also announced a new distillery with 16 new stills will be placed next to the old distillery. The new distillery is planned to have a different name than Teaninich, and produce a separate whisky.
The distillery mainly produces malts for blending, and it is used in Haigs Dimple and Johnnie Walker Red Label. There is no visitor centre and there are no official bottlings of the malt.
Since 1992 a 10-year-old malt has been available in the Flora and Fauna series from Gordon and MacPhail along with offerings in their Connoisseurs Choice range.
But now to the whisky !!
I must confess to have been a fan of this 10 years old for some time and let me explain why
I poured the whisky in to a Copita nosing glass, added a half teaspoon of water and left the whisky covered to develop for ten minutes.Incidently this is a whisky that water should be added to, to gain the full experience of this subtle whisky.
The whisky pours a light golden colour, leaving long legs flowing down the inside of the glass.
The nose is initially quite aromatic with notes of citrus and vanilla coming forward. This is followed by a little cedar wood, a touch more of vanilla and fresh cut thyme
A really warm citrus opening to the whisky. Very easy on the senses!!
The flavour is initially quite dry and soft with hints of soft malt,barley grist,and a touch of white chocolate but as the whisky develops on the palate citrus and barley sugars gain momentum.
This is followed by notes of citrus, biscuit, and freshly cut grasses in a fairly long dry finish.
Superb whisky which makes one wonder why this beautifully balanced, well made single malt is not more widely available.