Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Whisky Discovery #70

Teachers Highland Cream (40% abv Blended Whisky, 2012, 1 ltr) 
Blended Scotch Whisky 
Circa £15 70cl 

Teachers Highland Cream
This is one of the whiskies I remember my father having in his cabinet, and I'm surprised to realise that I have never tasted it before. The bottle I remember must have been from the seventies and had the large plastic gold cap that looked like you could use either as a measure or for drinking out of. I still think this is a great look for this whisky, and much better than the current bottle. Trawling the Internet for information I learned a little about the brand's history:

William Teacher took advantage of the new "Excise Act" in 1830 and began selling his blended scotch, taking out a licence to sell wines and spirits and expanded into 'dram shops'. (These were basic public houses selling reliable spirits, with rules against buying rounds and having loud conversations, drunks and rowdies were quickly removed). Within twenty years he was the largest licence holder in Glasgow.

By this time his sons, Adam and William Jr had joined the family business and following the example of others they moved into wholesaling, providing special blends for specific customers. William died in 1876 leaving his two sons in control.

One of these blends became very popular, so they concentrated their energies on producing and marketing it as Teacher's Highland Cream and so it was first registered in 1884. 

The bottle I remember, and prefer!
In order to guarantee stocks of malt whisky they opened the Ardmore distillery in 1898 and by 1903 the brand was being exported to America.

Teacher's also acquired the Glendronach distillery in 1957, to meet the growing demand for blended scotch. Teacher's Highland Cream is still made in Glasgow, but now owned by American company Beam Inc.

The label proudly states that over 45% of the blend consists of single malts, with Ardmore still being the main single malt in the blend, although it is reported to use over 30 different single malt whiskies.

So what did I think?

Colour: An almost tawny gold (regulated with caramel)

Nose: A soft sweetness initially which is quickly followed by a slightly bitter grain, toffee, fruit and malt, even a fresh 'rolling tobacco' note, the faintest whisp of smoke too.

Body: Smooth creamy texture, milky almost. Definitely living up to it's Highland Cream name!

Palate: Toffee and barley sugar balanced with a very light peatiness which is very pleasant there is a white pepper kick at the end too.

Finish: Fades gently with some peppery smoke.

I'm sorry to say I have overlooked this whisky in the past, and it is purely by chance that I have been sampling this whisky after 'finding' it in a good friends drinks cabinet, untouched. This is a very good blended whisky, it isn't fantastic stuff that will blow your socks off, but it is very good value and very drinkable.

1 comment:

littletipple.com said...

Superb discovery - I have a bottle of this and Ballantine's that I've been given by patients, and have never got around to drinking - I think I've put them in the same category as Bells, sadly... Need to rethink my approach!