Teaninich is a Highland whisky distillery in the North East of Scotland. Built in 1817, it is now owned by Diageo.
The distillery supplies whisky for various blended Scotch brands. The only regularly available single malt bottling is a 12-year-old, released as part of the Flora & Fauna series.
Teaninich comes from the Gaelic taigh an aonaich, meaning house on the hill.
The spirit is sweet and fragrant, often described as grassy and slightly waxy with a light hint of smoke.
Teaninich has a maximum production capacity of 10.2 million litres, making it the third-largest in Diageo’s portfolio.
Rather than a traditional mash tun, the distillery uses a mash filter, the only one operational in Scotland. Inside the conversion vessel, a vortex stirs the mash to make a porridge. The porridge is then run through a Meura filter press where it is squeezed between 24 plates to produce wort, ready for fermentation.
The distillery is equipped with six pot stills. Each is fitted with a boil ball to increase reflux. The stills have thick necks, helping to add oiliness to the spirit.
A unique hammer mill gives the capacity to work with other grains, including rye. Chocolate malt was used to create the Johnnie Walker Blender’s Batch Espresso Roast in 2017.
The spirit is usually matured in refill ex-bourbon with a small amount aged in ex-sherry butts.
The 10-year-old Flora & Fauna bottling is the only regularly available single malt bottling. However, a limited 17-year-old release was released in 2017 as part of Diageo’s Special Editions collection. The 1999 vintage was bottled at a cask strength of 55.9%.
Teaninich was established in 1817 by a Napoleonic war hero. Owner of the Teaninich Estate, Hugh Munro was blinded by a musket ball during a firefight in the city of Nijmegen.
When Hugh returned home, he threw himself into the upkeep of the family estate. He worked hard to improve conditions for his tenants and commissioned a distillery so that there would always be a buyer for the barley grown on his land.
Hugh retired in 1831 and passed the estate, distillery included, to his younger brother, Lieutenant-General John Munro. The family leased it out until 1904 when it was bought by Robert Innes Cameron.
When Cameron passed away in 1933, the distillery was scooped up by Distillers Company Limited (DCL). DCL would evolve into Diageo, the largest spirits producer in the world.
In 2013, the distillery was expanded, taking capacity from 4 to 10 million litres per year. Official bottlings remain rare but single cask Teaninich malts from independent bottlers are becoming common.