Monday, March 7, 2016

Whisky Review: Te Bheag Blended Scotch Whisky

Te Bheag 
Pronounced 'chey-vek' (Gaelic word meaning wee-dram).  This brand is produced by the small, independent company, Pràban na Linne Ltd., located on the Isle of Skye. The same company that puts out a delightful blended malt, Poit Dhubh, which I recently reviewed. Due to the small size of Pràban na Linne Ltd. distribution of Te Bheag is not on the scale of other competing blends (owned by much larger multinationals). It is available in Canada, the UK, parts of Europe and some limited availability in the US.

Blended Scotch Whisky (40% malt whiskies & 60% grain).  No age statement.

$36 - $40

700 ml bottle


Non-Chill Filtered
For those of you who are convinced that chill filtration strips away fatty-acid esters that contributes to subtle flavors and oily texture, have no fear, this whisky is not chill filtered. As for artificial coloring with E150, I am unsure, but suspect that if they do not chill filter then it is likely they don't color their whisky.

Nose (undiluted)
Intriguing maritime notes of sea, brine and surf.  Smoke wafts up nicely too.

Palate (undiluted)
Oily texture, rounded, salty, peat, brine, dulse,  and smokey!  Not over the top but interesting smoke I liken to Lucky Strikes unfiltered, rich Virginia tobacco.  Black licorice is here too.

Finish (undiluted)
Sherry, smoke, red and black licorice intermingle, prunes and mackerel.

General Impressions
This is priced higher than Teacher's Highland Cream and Black Grouse, but it is sure a lot better.  I liked this blend when I first reviewed it five years ago (click here) and I still like it today.  'Like' is too light, it doesn't convey my continued excitement for this great blend.  If this whisky is available where you live, I would highly recommend you consider it next time you want an affordable blend that punches way above its' weight.


Jason Debly


  1. I have been a fan for years. IMO better than JW Black for about 20 bucks cheaper too. I get a distinct hit of talisker in there, which maybe Jason you can confirm? Someone had mentioned looking for the "Honda Accord" of whiskies in another comment on this blog, and I think we've found it here! So happy that this is available in Ontario and in Quebec for under $40. Hopefully it stays this way but I bought myself a case as a reserve just in case. In fact, the SAQ (liquor body in QC) recently announced that over 1000 of their products are going up this year!>?!? we already get gouged enough as is it. Anyways, this has been a consistent blend for me for the last 4 years and I actually think I prefer this to JW Black, even not accounting for the price.. it is less sherried than JW Black, and a little more "maritime"/seaweedy/salty at the end I find.


    1. Leone, a lot of people agree with you in a heads-up Pepsi challenge with JW Black. I still prefer the Black, but yeah, I hear ya, and respect what you are saying.

      I have read and heard from a few reliable sources that Talisker is indeed in this blend and I really think I can taste it.

      Thanks for commenting Leone!

  2. Hi Jason,
    I have also tried this blend on a few occasions and it is great value for money. Really enjoy the reviews.


  3. It does have coloring/E150. For this information I usually check a German site - in Germany and other countries the label must disclose any E150:
    Here is the link.

    Unfortunately there are several brands/labels that do not chill-filter but add E150 in their standard expressions, such as Glen Garioch and Teeling.

    1. Good to know! Thanks. Nice to hear from you again.