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.
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Your right on re teachers, friend & I opened a bottle his late father had the other day. It's everything you say it is in your review.Ray.ReplyDelete
Glad to hear it Ray! Teacher's is a great discovery!ReplyDelete
I usually don't drink whiskey but sometimes I do and Teacher's Highland Cream caught my eye at the store. I instantly remember hearing high praise for it, so I bought it. It was very nice, lot more flavourful than Red Label and sorts. 80 proof drinks never really taste pleasant to me but this one was almost tolerable.ReplyDelete
Sam, Teacher's is indeed very flavorful and in it's price range is very good. So many bottom shelf blends lack flavor. For example, Grant's Family Reserve is incredibly thin such that you could gulp it down like Gatorade in search of flavor. I think it is not so much the proof of the spirit but simply the recipe of the blend.ReplyDelete
There are other blends that offer great flavor like Black Bottle and White Horse.
For $12 more or so, please consider Johnnie Walker Black Label. It delivers great full flavor.
I have been a fan of Teachers for over 20 years. Dispite its popularity world wide, it is a rather difficult brand to buy here in southern New England. A single retailer in my area stocks it, but I have yet to find a single establishment from Boston to Providence with a bottle on the bar.ReplyDelete
http://www.popswine.com/ Mail-order source located in NY. Very cheap shipping.Delete
I am surprised that you have not encountered bar in your area that carries Teachers.ReplyDelete
Teacher's was where my love of scotch started and fortunately I still enjoy today as much as I did on that first sip. Can't say that for a lot of other blends I liked when I was a newbie.
Thanks for commentings!
My last TEACHERS was FOUL. Is this becasue JIM BEAM GLOBAL has this in a cola can now? That too was sick. Can anyone recommand ARDMORE ( that non aged one)? It cost twice the price of this blend. I know teachers is many malts and grains but will ardmore guarntee get me a good similer Teachers taste. what difference will there be? I think think jason scotch description of " taste is sea salt, smoke, very faint peat and iodine with a bacon/malt backbone" is pretty good.ReplyDelete
Teacher's Highland Cream, in my opinion, is a great economy scotch blend, though I will admit there can be some inconsistency from batch to batch. Some years it is incredible while others it is a bit mediocre.ReplyDelete
On the nose, it is a little rough, petrol if you will at times, however on the palate it does deliver.
With your question about Ardmore, it is indeed a core malt of this blend and so if you do pick up some Ardmore, it will indeed be very similar to Teacher's but better. Matter of fact, my next review will be Ardmore, bottled by Gordon & Macphail. I like it, but do agree it is not cheap.
Thanks for your thoughts!
I decided to pick up a bottle today thanks to the good reviews I've seen (Ralfy also thinks highly of this blend). One thing I noticed right away is that the proof has increased to 86 proof (43% ABV) since the photos in this review still show 80 proof. Seems like this change took place in the last year or so.ReplyDelete
The proof of this blend depends upon where you buy it. In Canada, it is 40% abv, but in other markets it is 43%. Thanks for taking a chance on this blended scotch, I hope you enjoy it. Give it time, don't be quick to judge. It will grow on you.ReplyDelete
BEAM has this in COLA CAN NOW (YUK!!!)ReplyDelete
Does this mean TEACHERS is now just a MIXER -like Walker Red?
OR simply I got bad bottle? Like to know.
Bottle was like lethal spirits. poured out.
LAST bought regular few year ago. No problem. Little water. No mixing. I bought those one not long after it being released in COLA CAN. Love to buy another. PM on this. In Austrailia we get 40% stuff. Maybe I could import it or buy Ardmore TC.
I heard that Beam Global had started selling Teacher's in pop cans. Unbelievable way to destroy the brand and its goodwill that took generations to build up. I suspect that the metal cans also impart nasty flavor. A terrible thing.ReplyDelete
Definitely import Teachers in the traditional format.
It also wouldnt hurt to complain via email to Beam Global.
Thanks for commenting.
WHAT are KEY tasting difference between Ardmore and Teachers?ReplyDelete
oily and smoke and savory is mention.
what about mouthfeel?
Teachers (when good)silky brittle feel + soft and chewy like. And the sherry if teachers had any
20cl 20p. DL Malt cask. few uk online stores.
1991. Jason says no wow factor.
TC. Mixed reviews. Is local. Hate big oak!
Teachers 43% can see online anywhere.
Last Teachers 700ml problem was mega high chemical reek. Very unpleasant for me.
simply is this a bad bottle, young grain.
my simple question is Teachers simply crap in Australia. It is in a cola can now. I bought both can + bottle at this time. both junk. good before the cola can release. Is simpy a bad bottle or has Teachers been reduced to simply mixing only. bottle was reeking unpleasant lethal spirity + dull artificial flavor.ReplyDelete
I am still wondering on good dam teachers as ardmore tc maybe not be good for due to dry and bitter oak i read in reviews. Glendorach is $$$ for me unknowing if I like it. just dont like big tannic wood in my whisky.
tasting few Teachers 2y ago and good. yeah there some heat of the spirit. so what. fine.
desperate to enjoy again.
then I go to buy much later again and notice the Can. I look up on internet and Teachers says we now have moved to cola can. I buy the can and its artifical oversweet crap. I buy the bottle with my instincts say something will be wrong. It was sicker then walker red. spirit reek and dull flavor.
here what I want from review
"Full of crunchy maltiness. To drink this whisky is like biting into peanut brittle. Then toffee" silky and brittle bit my favorite bit. and savory.
I have never ask store for refund or check bottle.
If its in a cola can 9not even priumum cola) then does that mean teachers is just a mixxer not for straight with drop of water anymore i could enjoy
should i try a little shop as a norm go to big superstore. should i be concerned is light is near bottle?
is this just bad in Australia now?
and parts of other world getting teachers?
it will cost me between 30 to 39 AU. It more the disappointment then money.
I have no idea if this Glendonarch is still in Teachers too as it is owned by Ben nevis now I read.
Where I live (Canada) Teachers comes only in a bottle. I have heard that it has been released in cans also. Strange I find for Beam Global to do this, but obviously they believe there is a market place for it in that format.ReplyDelete
In any case, to answer your question, a bottle of Teacher's is a good blended scotch. However, not everyone will like it. Maybe you should try some other blends. Another great blend is Black Bottle or try Johnnie Walker Black.
I suspect you just may not be fond of the Teachers flavors.
I am very found of teachers flavs + silky crunch. better then black. Is green got some crunch or all silk. Ardmore TC maybe too woody for me.ReplyDelete
ralfy says "maybe bad batch"
my "cola theory maybe wrong"
I could give another go.
Sometimes I see TEACHERS at insane Carmel Color while sometimes at Yellow. Maybe grab the faintest bottle I see.
I guess you get the 43%. We get the 40%. had 40% years ago. good. Just this years 1 bottle.
I came across Teacher's at my local shop (Coral Park Liquors) I only put the plug because I believe in small business and this is a mom & pop (with adult kids). They brought this in after a customer requested it; it took them a while be cause with the guy's Euro accent they kept searching for "t-shirt"...needless to say they finally figured it out or asked them to spell it out. I was pleasantly surprised at the smokey almost single malty-ness of this blend. Yes I know I do not use correct taster speech. However I truly enjoyed the scotch with ice! I know, but if you live in Miami drinking anything recommended at room temp requires ice!ReplyDelete
Cheers loved the blog and comments
Anonymous, don't worry about not having the "correct" speach for describing scotch because guess what? There is no 'correct' way to describe. It's your way! You are the judge of any scotch ultimately. You buy it, and you hopefully will enjoy it!ReplyDelete
And don't be embarrassed by the fact that you like your scotch with ice. Tens of thousands of scotch fans to also. Nothing wrong with that. I initially was a big fan of ice in my whisky, but over time my tastes changed to where I prefered it neat. But hey, that's just me. Not you. Remember a man has got to march to the beat of his drum!
Thanks for commenting!
is a great find, i tasted a lot of whiskys and this one is really good. Soft but strong , sweet but not too much, smoky , and the price is incredible, i think that a lot of people will choose this one in a blind testing, againstReplyDelete
more expensive whiskys, really good a i´m testing pure without water or ice, try it...you will be happy to find a great whisky very cheep, cheers!!!
Finally scored a bottle of Teachers and I have to say you are absolutely right -- great value for money. Love the smoky taste.ReplyDelete
When I don't feel like going through the single malt rituals and just want scotch on the rocks, my go to blend has been Dewars. No more. Teachers is much better -- more flavorful and complex. And it was $15!
BTW, here in AZ the bottling is 43% ABV.
Thanks for the tip. I couldn't have made this discovery without you.
Hi Dryheat, glad I could be of assistance! Teacher's is best bargain out there and at $15 a bottle, I would almost feel guilty walking out of the store at that price with a bottle.ReplyDelete
Teachers is the best value in scotch! Very similar to White Horse.If I can't afford my all timer "Highland Park" Teachers is the one.
So I tried this on your recommendation. I have to admit that I'm a total scotch noob. Sure, I keep Jameson/Cutty on hand for mixing purposes but otherwise I basically just figure out what I like as I get into it. I got a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label from a friend of mine and it was one of the first scotches that I sipped over ice (2 cubes). I thought it was awesome and it convinced me that scotch was worth drinking by itself. I tried a number of scotches at a connoisseur friend's house and discovered that I'm not a big fan of peet, although I did develop a taste for (some variety) of Glenmorangie. Anyhow, I picked up a bottle of Teacher's for my own bar and tried 1/2 a pour over a cube. It was everything you described. Salt air, a bit of peet and smoke. Very sophisticated (by my palette, at least). I still prefer the Walker Black but at half the price, I'm pretty sure I will develop a taste for the Teacher's in short order. I'm looking forward to trying some of your other picks like the Black Bottle, Tomatin and Cragganmore.ReplyDelete
Thanks and keep up the good work!
Glad you gave Teacher's a chance. There certainly are some disappointing scotches in that price range but not Teachers. Matter of fact, I picked up a new bottle the other day and still marvel at how good it is.ReplyDelete
Just tried this based on your recommendation Jason. Our tastes seem to be similar and I've been looking for some economy bottlings. I also tried Powers Gold and Redbreast, both are incredible.ReplyDelete
I think Teachers is a lot like JWB, not too much of anything and not lacking flavor either. Some smoke, some peat, some sweetness. Blends tend to give you more of something that you might want to taste in a single malt, instead of a dominating flavor.
I also tried Famous Grouse 12 year Gold Reserve. This would make a nice review!
Glad you like Teacher's. Teacher's is a blend that will grow on you over time.ReplyDelete
I agree that single malts differ from blends in the sense that the former tend to have one principal flavor dominating while blends give you a little of everything.
I haven't had Famous Grouse 12 in a while. Good suggestion!
...i tried Teacher's based on your recommendation. i believe we were sampling an eight year old Jim Beam (?) and discussing life, work, politics and family. Thank you for taking the time, and educating an old broker.ReplyDelete
Alex (from Toronto)
Alex, it was my pleasure! Glad you like Teacher's. It will really grow on you and is proof that one does not have to spend a lot of money to have a nice scotch.ReplyDelete
Next time you are down, we will tackle some more.
Thank you Jason for the nice review. Teachers Highland Cream is the most widely available Blended Scotch in India...when I first tasted it I didn't like it, the second try was less repulsive, but the third one got me in. We do not get a lot of blended scotch in India, tried Famous Grouse, J&B, Teachers 50, Cutty Sark, JW Doubl Black, Chivas 12, Black & White, Whyte and McKay, Ballentines. Can you suggest something else ?ReplyDelete
It is nice to hear from a reader in India. I know there are a few such readers, and this is no surprise to me as India is one of the growing whisky markets.
I think if you are paying for premium brands (with the higher prices) like Johnnie Walker Black and Chivas Regal 12, you should consider trying a single malt. The Edrington Group is a multinational drinks company that is trying to expand it's market share. Two of the great single malt brands it is marketing is Highland Park and The Macallan. Try to find the 12 year old bottlings where you are. But, be careful because there are a lot of whisky counterfeiters. So, it is important to buy from a respected liquor store.
Diageo is another company trying to gain a greater foothold in India. Try Talisker 10, Clynelish 14 (if you can find it) and others. Diageo has also created brands specifically for the local Indian market like: Blender's Pride and Royal Stag, but I would stay away from those.
Very nice. I bought a bottle today in Japan. Cost 10 bucks in yen. I love whiskey reviews, it's such a different language to that used for wine. I could read them for hours and hours, they bring forth so many images, places, smells.ReplyDelete
This is a new discovery for me, such reviews, and I love them.
I decided to pick this one up today for two reasons, one because the dominant single malt in Teacher's is Ardmore, and two because it was on sale at a local shoppe for just under US$18.00 (cheap as chips).ReplyDelete
The reason why I never considered this blend before is the same reason why Jason didn't (the low cost). That and the unattractive bourbon shaped bottle with its plain black and white label. True, its not as sexy as a Johnnie Walker. I guess I'm guilty for judging a book by its cover, but we'll see.
Ardmore Traditional Cask is a highland style single malt containing medium-heavy peat without the iodine characteristic of an Islay, from Speyside. I quite enjoy Ardmore Traditional Cask (although I think it could use more time in the cask). I have not yet opened my bottle of Teacher's, but I plan on doing a tasting comparison with Teacher's and Ardmore Traditional Cask soon.
My recent purchases:
Ardmore Traditional Cask
Johnnie Walker Double Black
Teacher's Highland Cream
Let me know what you think of Teacher's Highland Cream and Johnnie Walker Double Black.
I'll be sure to do that. I recently started a blog (http://whiskydiaries.blogspot.com/)to share my tasting reviews. Please check it out when you have a chance. Not much to look at so far though.
Great news! Welcome to the world of independent whisky blogging! I'll post a link to your site soon when I have a chance.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the support.ReplyDelete
You were asking what I thought about Teacher's and JW Double Black. I wrote reviews on both. Please feel free to read my reviews on my blog (whiskydiaries.blogspot.com).
Marius, I just read your reviews of Teacher's and Johnnie Walker Double Black. Great and on point. Keep it up!ReplyDelete
I can perfectly describe the taste of this scotch in one word. Insecticide.ReplyDelete
Well, Sir, everyone's entitled to an opinion.ReplyDelete
I like your reviews. They are honest and to the point.
In the time when money does not grow on trees, many people start to appreciate 'economic' blends. Teachers is one of them. I like Teachers as it is full of flavours in the price range where some of other whiskies are not.
Have you tryed it lately? Did realy change a lot? On worse?
In the last few months some reviewrs critisize it strongly . But to me is stil nice whisky.
Keep up the good work.
I have had Teacher's lately and think it is still great as ever. Certainly there can be a bit of variation from batch to batch. About three years ago, I noticed it was not as good as usual, but I think it is back in fine form.
I still love the stuff!
I stopped by the liquor store for a bottle of Laphroaig 10 ($50), noticed the Laphroaig 18 ($100), debated between the two while looking at what else they had. Noticed Teacher's on the bottom shelf, remembered your review, and figured I couldn't decide between the Laphroaigs. So, I picked up the Teachers for $19. Your review is spot on, this whisky delivers. Thanks for turning me on to this!ReplyDelete
It is a great day when you can walk out of the liquor store spending more than 50% less than what you anticipated!Delete
Since you like Islay scotch, I highly recommend "Black Bottle" that also is in the same price range as Teacher's.
Good evening, I told you to read the article on teacher's buy a bottle in a supermarket at very low price compared to the whiskies of that segment, such as 100 pipers. My experience was similar to the one described in the blog; i felt a touch salty and smoky flavor and a final a little spicy, very different to what I'm accustomed to feel. My habit is to take the type blends old Parr, The antiquary 12 and J&B jet; and i must admit, it is very different; and i must admit, it is very different. In these days are for bringing me a Black Bottle whisky, i hope anxious tasting as i saw very good reviews of this low-cost whisky. i would like, if i could help you in the choice of some blends and single malts worth knowing in the premium category, without being the most costly. Many thanks and greetings from Argentina. (The Tiger of the pampas)ReplyDelete
Black Bottle is another excellent low cost blended scotch whisky. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as Teacher's.
Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
I just bought a bottle of Teachers based on a Wine Spectator review recommending it as a best value. At first taste, this blend overwhelmed my senses a bit, probably because I have been drinking another cheap blend, McIvor. McIvor is a good value in my opinion (in that there is nothing offensive in the flavors), but it certainly does not approach the complexity of Teachers.ReplyDelete
You're right....as the ice has been melting the drink has mellowed out. I am enjoying this scotch and am tasting many of the flavors you describe. Personally I'm left with smoke, peat and salt lingering on the palate. The the next sip is a quick descent into sweet malt with the other flavorings and higher alcohol content rounding out the experience. Looking forward to reading more of your reviews.
If you can go from a super smooth economy blend to Teachers, and start to appreciate the latter, as you are, you are now beginning a great malt whisky journey! Welcome aboard!Delete
Hey Jason, have you tasted or heard about "Monarch of the Glen" blend? The 12 year old bottling (88 pts in Jim Murray Whisky Bible) costs only $3 more than Teacher's in my town ($19 v/s $16). And, the 15 yr bottling costs $24!! (All prices for 750ml). Can you imagine?? A 15 yr old scotch for $24!! I was wondering how good/bad this can be..ReplyDelete
I have never heard of the Monarch of the Glen. Sounds promising though. If I ever see it in my travels I will pick it up and review.Delete
It's one of life's great pleasures to discover an affordable blend that you enjoy.
Thanks! Looking forward to your review sometime.. :)Delete
Greetings from India! I am a long time reader of your blog, but this is my first comment. You clearly deserve an award for your honest reviews. Your blog has now become my definitive whisky shopping guide! I have been a Teacher's fan for a long time now, so much that until recently it was my regular dram. Until i fell in love with Teacher's 50 last year. And it took me this long to ask you to do a review of the blend! I feel that Teacher's 50 12 year old is such a fantastic blend that it is on par with Chivas 12 (which costs almost twice as much here in India) in the overall drinking experience. Compared to its younger sibling, the Highland Cream, i find the 50 so full and rich , complete with a pleasing nose, an awesome texture and a longish finish. I am eager to know your opinion about the dram. Hopefully you will review it soon.
P.S. What are your thoughts on Teacher's Single Malt and Teacher's Origin (I have an unopened bottle sitting in the cabinet. Yet to try)?
Hello Darshan! India is known to have a lot of scotch whisky fans and you appear to be no exception.Delete
I have never had Teacher's 50. In fact, it is not available in Canada, and I believe it is not distributed in the United States (I could be wrong). So, I have not been able to lay my hands on a bottle. I believe that Teacher's 50 was launched with an emphasis on the Indian market.
I do have a few Indian acquaintances who go back to India so next time they go, I will ask them to bring back a bottle.
As for Teacher's Single Malt and Origin, I have not tried those either as they are not sold where I live.
I have tried and reviewed Ardmore and Glendronach and highly recommend both of those single malts. Those malts are two key malts used in the blend of Teacher's. Ardmore really is great stuff, and very reminiscent of Teachers.
Glad you like the blog and feel free to email me your review of Teachers 50 and I would be very pleased to post it!
It would be a pleasure to share my insight on my current regular dram with you! It would be quite a high point on my learning curve of the fine art of drinking whisky, given that your site is my handy guide book of anything whisky. I am on it!
And Jason, you were spot on in your review of Amrut Fusion. Had it yesterday for the first time and i was blown away. Its nothing like i've ever tasted before. And before i could even settle down to figure out the taste it had hit me. Hard. The first time i felt a mix of sheer joy of discovering a great whisky AND patriotism! It would make a grown man cry!
I've learnt of lot about Scotch (and spirits, in general) after reading your blog regularly.
And, I need your advice in this one particular scenario:
If you had the following options, and you had to pick one considering best taste, & best value-for-money, what would be your choice?
Teacher's, Black Bottle, White Horse, Isle of Skye-8 (all in same price range: $15-20), and JW Black (~$35).
My recommendation as to what you should try depends on the flavor profile you like. Black Bottle and White Horse are peaty and smokey, while Teachers has a lot of bacon and malt elements. Johnnie Black is spiced orange and cinnamon with smoke.
If you like peaty and smokey whiskies or unsure if you do then White Horse is the place to start. Fantastic price and certainly gentle enough for the newbie!
After White Horse, try Black Bottle, then Teachers and the JW Black.
I have not tried Isle of Skye so cant comment on it.
Hi Jason, I live in Cape Town, South Africa. Read your reviews on Teachers and decided to buy a bottle. I was overwhelmed. I normally buy Black and white and Vat 69 simply because of price but the taste of Teachers blew me away. Much better than the two mentioned above and to me, better than most of the better known and more expensve brands. I am hooked,and have found what I have been looking for, many thanks.ReplyDelete
Ian, I am always happy to hear from readers who discover what a great blended whisky Teacher's is. One of the few gems of a blend that does not cost an arm and a leg!Delete
I started enjoying whisky with Teacher's and Johnnie Walker Black, and many years later, they are still in my cabinet on a regular basis.
Teacher's is one of my must have whiskies that I always need on hand.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Since I read your reviews, Teachers enters my "Scotch to buy" list, but the extremely low price of it here in Buenos Aires makes me hesitate. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a bottle of Jameson (upper in the list), taste it five times, and then share my disappointment in the right entrance of your blog, wich I read (shame on me)after the purchase. Once again, you recommended Teachers...
I was eager to taste it, so I went to the supermarket a couple of days ago, reach for a bottle and then read the back label... Then, I left the bottle back. ¿Why is Teachers so cheap here? Because is "Elaborado y embotellado en Capilla del Señor" That means it´s produced and bottled in a industrial district of the Provincia de Buenos Aires. Teachers, here, is a national whisky brand, not a "scotch".
So, this time I´m not ending the comment with a toast but with a whimper.
Sorry to hear that Juan. What you need to do is get a friend in the United States, Canada, the UK, etc and have them bring you a bottle of Teacher's back.Delete
Fortunately, there are other brands.
Thanks for commenting!
Your review encouraged me to get a bottle of Teacher's, and I was very happy I did! (It was bottled at 86 proof.) This could easily turn into my daily dram. Close competition comes from Monarch of the Glen 15 yr. If you ever get to try that blend, I'd love to hear what you think. It's about the same price as Teacher's.
Bryan, Teachers is my daily dram!Delete
This is the funktastic of scotch. Wow, I am completely floored. A must have. I found it 1.75 for 33 dollars. Poppas gotta new bottle. This is a gem and everyone should have in their cabinet. I will always have a bottle of Teacher's and save the pricey singles for special occasions.
Thank you again.
There are a couple of bottles always in my house. Teacher's and Johnnie Walker Black are two of them. The latter though is getting terribly expensive.Delete
I completely agree with your reviews of Teacher Highland cream but I find it bit harsh on tongue. I tried Teacher's 50 (50% malt and 12 year maturation). Its very smooth and tasty dram. It has very complex favors (due to combination of 50 different malts). Also tried their Teachers Origin which has 65% malt. This was also smooth dram but I found it less complex than Teacher's 50. But it was much more fuller and richer in mouth.
I am glad to see a review of Teacher's that really gives it its due. This was my first introduction to scotch of any kind. I've grown dramatically with the help of friends and various pubs and bars but I look very fondly on my first memories of buying Teachers and realizing that whisky was not only good but my favorite. You make me want to buy another bottle and relive the old days.ReplyDelete
You should pick up a bottle! You may be surprised how good it still is!Delete
Hi,just to say thanks for this review. I was choosing between a few whiskies on offer at the supermarket, and your review swayed it for me.ReplyDelete
I like it. Although I find it particularly harsh at first, as the above commenter found. But at £11 ($16.50 or C$17) it was well worth it.
Adam, thanks for letting I and the readers know that you found Teacher's to be enjoyable.Delete
With respect to the 'harshness,' try adding a teaspoon of water. If that doesn't work, maybe an ice cube, let it melt for about a minute and then take a sip. I think the ice will smooth out any edges that you find harsh.
Thank you for taking the time to comment!
Since stumbling upon your review some days ago I was curious about trying out Teacher's Highland Cream, which I finally did yesterday...and let me say I'm positively impressed...! It has a bad rep here in Brazil as well, for being locally "cut and bottled" by Pernod-Ricard with malts imported from Scotland (see the middle column here); even though it's not exactly cheap, having around 75-80% the price of an imported White Horse bottle.ReplyDelete
White Horse historically has been my favorite "economy" scotch and today I tasted both back to back and Teacher's definitely stood comparison with it, even if it seems, for my taste at least, "harsher" and "smokier" (I'm no expert and thus unacquainted with the lingo...). Even if it's below White Horse on a cost-benefit basis, it definitely stands up against competitors such as Black and White and Famous Grouse, and is certainly a great option for those periods where I'm unable to find whiskies at discount. Wish I had found your review earlier; thanks... :)
Just found a Teacher's 12 year old royal perfection 43 % for $AUS60. Very smooth, slightly honey-ish and reminds me a little of Dewars 12 yr old but with more of a Teacher's Ardmore backbone albeit slight. Anyone know about this 12 year old blend - is it still available, cost etc?ReplyDelete
I have never heard of a Teacher's 12 year old. Can you send me a photo or a link to where you got it? My email is firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
First of all, thank you very much for this blog. Have been reading a lot of your reviews lately and appreciate your advice :-)
I just bought a bottle of Teachers today at a very affordable price of 11 euroes. Tasting it as I type, I agree with you that it is very pleasant. Obviously not as rich as some of the single malts I have tasted, but there is nothing offensive about it, unlike som other cheaper brands.
I have also been viewing a couple of reviews on Youtube from Ralfy.com, and he actually rates teachers higher than Johnny Walker Black. I am curious how you would compare the two - do you have a favourite? You state that both are always a part of your collection :-)
Jesper, from Denmark
Yes, Johnnie Walker Black and Teacher's are regulars in my Scotch whisky collection. I consider them both to be excellent whiskies. I have not seen Ralfy's reviews of these two iconic whiskies, but I am surprised he would rate Teacher's as being superior to Johnnie Walker Black.
My surprise is due to the fact that Teacher's is an entry level blended Scotch whisky while Johnnie Black is a a premium blended Scotch whisky with a 12 year age statement. So, it is not comparing apples to apples if you know what I mean.
In a heads up competition between the two, I probably would grab the Johnnie Walker Black 12 because it has a little more complexity. They are both great whiskies though.
Jesper, welcome to the blog and look forward to more comments from you.
I like it a lot. I am new to trying other brands and single malts. I drank J&B before I tried other scotches so as you might imagine my eyes were opened.ReplyDelete
I love Glenfidditch. Its the most expensive brand I really have ever bought and kept. I have decided a lot of peat is not my fav but all the other characteristics make scotch my favorite whiskey. Why I cannot stomach Kentucky Whiskies I have no idea. I live in Tennessee.
I am rambling. I do love Teachers tho. I like the smokey character and its great with a couple of ice cubes to take the edge off.
Your new found enjoyment of Scotch mirrors my own.Delete
Initially, I really enjoyed blends like Teacher's and I too needed a couple of ice cubes to soften that flavor profile. I also couldn't stand anything peaty. I preferred the caramel, wild honey and nut profiles of flavor.
Over time I did start to get interested in peat, and only because it was a small element of great malts like Highland Park 12 years and others.
Since you like Teacher's, try to find an independent bottling by Gordon and MacPhail of "Ardmore". Ardmore is one of the central single malts that gives Teacher's much of its character. The Gordon and MacPhail releases of Ardmore are usually reasonably priced. Might have to do a little searching though.
There are so many malts that may interest you. I think eventually you should try Glenlivet 12 and 18, Oban 14, but before all of those, try Cragganmore 12. An easy honey, almond dram with whisps of smoke. It was my "gateway" malt that hooked me on all things whiskey.
I do drink the Teacher's. It is a very good blend. It does not have the grainy tase of many low cost blends. I like better than JW Black. The JW almost taste like fake smoke flavour. However, my favorite blend for the money is still Islay Mist. But I do keep Teacher's in my bar at all times.ReplyDelete
I just hope I never live to see the day when they start raising the price on this great blend. Teacher's is the comfort food of blended Scotch. Islay Mist by the way is great too!Delete
Jason, I really like the site and your reviews.ReplyDelete
I do like JW Green but have been searching for an everyday blend for a while now. I love Black Bottle and am now unsure of the new version of Black Bottle. I haven't tried it yet. I do like White Horse, abit sweet though ( way undervalued ) but am really not won over by Teacher's. For Me it has a grainy finish and lacks some smoothness ( of White Horse ). Keep the reviews coming Bud !
Give Teacher's a little time. If you are new to whisky and exploring primarily blends, as you find them gentler than single malts, I suggest trying certain blends like Teacher's with a little ice. The ice will take the edge off and make it much more approachable.Delete
Over time, you may find you will use less ice until you want that full tilt flavor, which means you graduate to drinking it neat.
Teacher's also does well with say a teaspoon of water.
There is admittedly some graininess, but I kinda like it here.
Thanks for commenting and hope to read more of your comments over time.
Hey Jason, thanks for all the great reviews. Have you noticed any decline in the quality of teachers lately. My last bottle is significantly grainier and more harsh. I really hope I just got a bad bottle as this is my go to. Also have you ever tried cattos blended whiskey? I would be interested on your thoughts. Thanks, CoreyReplyDelete
Hi! You are the second reader to pose the very same question.Delete
With regards to Teacher's I have noticed it has gotten slightly smoother and sweeter, but not necessarily grainier. An older reader who reports he has drank Teacher's regularly for over thirty years has noted it has gotten grainier. What I plan to do is get a new bottle and review it on this issue.
I have not had Cattos. On the list it goes for a future review!
As an aside, I poured about 150 ml of Ardmore Traditional Cask into about 600 ml of Teacher's and after a week I tried it. The result was amazing - a really creamy rich taste which reminded me of the Teacher's I tried in about 1994.ReplyDelete
Well, as you know Ardmore is a key malt in this great blend. Ardmore on its own is good too!ReplyDelete
One area I need to explore more is making home blends like you have done.
Thanks for commenting!
Jason, You have probably seen the Teacher’s Origin bottling already. If you haven't tried this blend just yet, it's probably worthy of a look at the pub or at home ($32 US). We liked it, as it has a fair bit of that leaf-y, rubber-y, bacon-y peat character that Ardmore tended to contribute to the Highland Cream (until recently.) Sláinte, JKReplyDelete
I have been trying to locate a bottle without success. I hear from others that it is quite good. I think it was initially launched in India of all places a few years ago. India is home to a lot of Teacher's fans.Delete
Life has its disappointments. I have long been a fan of Teachers (even prefering it to JW Black because of its character), but I can no longer hide from the truth. It has changed. It is now sweet and harsh and lacking in flavour and complexity. It has become just another cheap whisky. That seems very sad to me; I mourn the (all too familar) passing of an old friend. Any loyalty to the son is based on loyalty to the father. I now drink 'Monkey Shoulder', a malt blend and twice the price but three times the whisky and a big step up from JW Black...but I miss my old friend...ReplyDelete
I also wrote about a change for the worse in this post:Delete
I should have prefaced my original 2009 post of Teacher's that it has now changed for the worse.
Thanks for commenting.
My first scotch..not too many options for blended scotch's in India..it is incredible.. Just picked it at random at my local liquor store.. But boy was i just lucky for havin picked it up over jwb or red label? Cheers! Havin 1 now..!ReplyDelete
I'm so sorry to hear that Teacher's has changed. I used to love it, until I tried JW Black. Jason, what do you think of 100 Pipers? Many consider it rot gut, but I find it acceptable, especially at its price point (as low as $9 sometimes here in New Jersey!)..ReplyDelete
I have not had the 100 Pipers. I have seen it, but yeah for $9 I was not thinking it would be suitable for much other than mix. I might be wrong and will try it sometime.Delete
Thanks for commenting!
Great blended scotch for the price. Just 25$ for 1L bottle where i live. I bought a bottle as a present for my father two days ago. We had 3 drams each at night, i could steel feel the peat and smoke in my throat when i woke up. Definitely beats all blended scotches i tried so far. On the new bottle it says they use single malt from Ardmore distillery. No Glendronach any more, probably.ReplyDelete
Nice memories with your dad!Delete
Great blog Jason, and the comments/ discussions and your replies are just as pleasurable to read. Another note on Teacher's 50 from a rather occasional (and newbie) scotch drinker from India...ReplyDelete
The 50 tastes delicious and much more rounded than Teacher's Highland Cream- the finish particularly is noticeable, which I found to be rather harsh on the Highland Cream. But that's to be expected I guess, since the 50 is a blend of 12 year old whiskies. To my unrefined palate, the 50 is more fruity but slightly less peat-y than the Highland Cream.
The 50 is not much more expensive than the Highland Cream here, and while generally superior, seems to cut down a notch on the smoke. That said, it seems to be a better buy overall. Would love to see your review of Teacher's 50 one day.
Teacher's 50 is a bottle I have never seen anywhere. I travel mostly within Canada and the United States. Duty Free too never seem to have it.Delete
I do have a friend at a major drinks company who might be able to get me a bottle. I will see what I can do.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!