Monday, August 17, 2009
Review: Teacher's Highland Cream
I had heard about Teacher's Highland Cream as being an excellent blended scotch for years. Websites devoted to scotch had many threads with extensive discussions of this blended scotch. Personally, I was always skeptical mainly for two reasons. First, the price. It's not expensive at all. Secondly, its a blend. I would think to myself, "how can a blend be very good?" So, I bought a bottle. And what a bottle it was.
Single large ice cube (also very enjoyable with a drop or two of distilled water).
Scent of dulse, seaweed and salt air wafting up. Impressive! I visualize standing at a cliff face on a windy, overcast day in Scotland.
The taste is sea salt, smoke, very faint peat and iodine with a bacon/malt backbone. This is a heavy scotch in the mouth, and many enjoy rolling it around a bit before swallowing. Anise, black licorice and lots of malt round this blend out.
Lingering sea salt, dulse, malt and a faint echo of peat. Teachers is a complex dram that offers a lot of different flavours to consider. It will really grow on you as you become more acquainted with it. If you are new to scotch drinking and enjoy a dram and wanting to avoid peat monsters, well try drinking this with an ice cube or two. As the ice melts, it mellows out the drink and by the time you finish you will be very satisfied. Teachers has been around for over 100 yrs and is in the top five best selling blends in the world. I can see why.
Teachers can be distinguished from other scotches because of its unusually high single malt content that runs a minimum of 45% of the content. Scotch blends are a combination of grain and malt whisky. The latter contributes flavour while the former softens a flavour that otherwise would be very rough and biting on the palate. Accordingly, more flavour if you have more malt content.
Teachers has a rich flavour and grain whiskeys that soften it sufficiently such that it doesnt have the cheap bite that some whiskeys often have.
Great Price Point!
Another great point to consider is price. I have drank many more expensive blends and single malts that cannot hold a candle to a tumbler of Teachers. So, don't be put off by the low price. Part of the reason the price is reasonable is because the whisky's core is comprised of two single malts (Ardmore and Glendronach) that by themselves are not particularly popular on their own, (hence most production is for this blend) but when blended in this bottling produce a very popular flavour profile at an affordable price point.
Sometimes, a blend is comprised of expensive single malts and that causes the price of the malt naturally to be expensive. Johnnie Walker Black Label is an example, as one of its key ingredients is Talisker that enjoys high prices and wide spread popularity as a single malt. (If you like some peat and plenty of smoke balanced out with some caramel notes then try Black Label).
Looking for a gift for your father, brother, son, this is the ticket! They wont be disappointed.
Note: Since writing this review, the corporate ownership of Teacher's has changed, which has resulted in changes to one of the core single malts used. I wrote about it here. Accordingly, the review before you provides tasting notes for Teachers in 2009-2010. If you can get an old bottle grab it!
© Jason Debly, 2009 - 2014. All rights reserved.