In the past, Diageo sometimes let their distillery managers select a cask from the warehouse for a line of bottlings. The most recent exercise in this was the Manager’s Choice, which was a huge flop by any measure.
Some of the whiskies from that series sold instantly, like the Lagavulin, Oban and Talisker. However, the other 20-something releases didn’t even move when they got a 50% discount.
Not that these whiskies were so bad, but they were just ridiculously expensive. Single casks, often from distilleries that had loads of single casks available through indie bottlers or Diageo itself were on the shelf for € 250, while their ‘normal’ counterparts sold for a fraction of that.
Anyway, the series of releases *before* The Manager’s Choice were ‘The Manager’s Dram’, which was released in the early 2000s. I’ve tried a few over the years, and most of them have been cracking. So, when I got the chance to obtain a sample of the Teaninich I didn’t hesitate. Not a clue where it came from, since it’s been on the shelf for ages.
Stewed apples, gentle oak, some waxy pear skin, a hint of reed. Complex, with some basil, other fresh herbs.
Pretty sharp on the arrival, with apple, pear, some waxiness. Oak, fiery heat, some dryness. The herbaceous flavor is there too.
The finish loses a bit of fruit, but shows more freshly cut oak. Basil, other leafy herbs.
An absolutely gorgeous dram in my book. It shows the distillery character, it shows the oak in which is was matured, and even though it has a very high ABV it shows depth and complexity. It’s more or less everything I would want in any dram.
Teaninich 17yo, Refill cask, bottled in 2001, 58.3%
Surprisingly for such an old whisky, it’s still available at not-too-unreasonable a price (£ 225 at Whisky Business)