This Claxton’s Teaninich was matured for 19 years in a bourbon hogshead that produced 255 bottles. It’s delivered at 53% ABV and comes with a sticker price of £109.
Nose: Soft and fruit forward with apple pie, grapefruit zest and a pleasant touch of lemony polish. It takes a little time to open in the glass, but rewards patience with buttery puff pastry, digestive biscuits and poached pears. Reduction greatly enhances the orchard fruit elements – they’re now fully ripe, ready to pick. It also adds golden syrupy and bees honey.
Taste: A syrupy mouthfeel with some clinginess to the palate. Stewed apples, split vanilla pods, cream pudding and hazelnuts alongside a good measure of dry white wine. The mid palate delivers some cask influence – prickly white pepper and rather overt oak. There’s development here – the arrival is sweet, but then things move progressively towards spiciness. Water adds juicy tinned fruits, particularly peach and lowers the level of spice and associated cask astringency. This might seem like an improvement – but it’s a double-edged sword as some of the texture and definition is lost in the process.
Finish: Medium to long with dusty and sustained pepper, slight creamy custard and chocolate nibs.
A solid Teaninich that’s big on the fruity flavours, and ably delivers some of the spirits weighty character with a memorable mouthfeel. There’s plenty of cask influence, but that doesn’t necessarily translate directly in to maturity – as such, the oak is quite evident and in places a touch acrid. Dilution smooths the edges, but at the same time reduces the overall impact of the spirit. For me, this is better at 53%, but then it’s not an entirely smooth ride.
Review sample provided by Claxtons
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