Monday, October 28, 2019

Scotch Review: 9 year old Teaninich "Hepburn's Choice" (Hunter Laing)

Hepburn's Choice is a line of single malt releases put out by the independent Scotch whisky bottler Hunter Laing.  This product line always features 46% ABV, non-chill filtered, and natural color.  Even more interesting is that the bottles are poured from a single cask.  The bottle I have is one of 420 poured from a single cask.  And the best tidbit, I save for last: the price is not bad.  Quite reasonable actually for a single malt with the aforementioned attributes.

Earlier this year, I picked up another in this series, namely a 10 year old Linkwood, which was truly amazing.  I went back to the liquor store and bought up the remaining four bottles.  I reviewed it on YouTube, but never got around to posting it on here.  That was a spellbinding, quintessential Speysider.  Well worth seeking out, if you can find it.

The Teaninich Distillery was established in 1817.  Currently owned by Diageo and the massive quantity of malt produced (10 million litres annually) is mostly used as an ingredient of Johnnie Walker Red Label.

The distillery is located in the Highland region of Scotland.

Single Malt.

Independent Bottler
Hunter Laing have bought up some of the new make spirit of the Teaninich distillery and supplied the casks the spirit is aged in.

Age Statement 
9 years (distilled in 2008 - bottled in 2017).

Nose (undiluted)
Hay, citrus, slight peat (low phenolic level), sweet dandelion.

Palate (undiluted)
Citrus, lime note, lemon pith, grapefruit chunks. Delicate.

Finish (undiluted)
Sour white grape/wine gums. Lemon meringue pie, limes and a grapefruit pith bitterness.

General Impressions
This is a light whisky that showcases bitter and sweet white wines/grapefruit pith.  It's a different type of malt.  The grapefruit pith bitter notes mostly on the finish may put some people off, but I kinda like it.  When I first opened the bottle, I was not impressed with that bitter finish, but the oxidation that transpired over a couple of weeks took that bitterness down sufficiently such that you can really enjoy it.

While it is 46% ABV, I wouldn't add water.  Works nicely neat.  The lack of chill filtration and artificial color contributes to the complexity of this malt.

Again, the price point is really reasonable for this malt and this factor makes it worth trying.  If you are looking for something different and wondering what some of the ingredient malts of Johnnie Walker Red taste like, try Hepburn's Choice 'Teaninich 9 years.


Jason Debly

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