Hugh Munro, owner of the Teaninch estate, founded the distillery
on his own land in 1817. At that time, the Customs and Excise
were pursuing a campaign to stamp out illicit distilling which
used up the entire barley crop in many parishes of Ross-shire
thereby posing a threat of famine. So the Commissioners of
Supply, the forerunners of the Country Council, urged landlords
to set up legal distilleries to provide an alternative outlet
for farmers and a better end product.
Ross-Shire IV17 0XB Scotland
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Viewer's Comments about Teaninich
At first, the hold of illicit distillers over the markets
for grain and whisky proved too strong to break. Three of
the four legal distilleries built in Ross-shire went of business;
but, as Munro told a parliamentary enquiry in the 1830s, "I
continued to struggle on."
After the Excise Act of 1823 reduced the fiscal burdens on
legal distillers, "an extraordinary change was soon perceived."
Teaninich's output had increased thirty of forty times over
Teaninich Distillery was later carried on under Lieutenant
General John Munro, an exemplary landlord, at least in respect
of his benefactions to the poor. "Not confining himself
to mere percuniary contributions", the New Statistical
Account of Scotland reported in 1845, "he administers
to their relief by daily personal visits, by supplying them
with medicines, distributing among them meals and other provisions,
and by providing them with fuel during the riguour of the
General Munro was absent for many years on service in India.
He granted a lease of the distillery to Robert Pattison in
1850. The next lessee, John McGilchrist Ross, succeeded about
1869, and was in charge when Alfred Barnard , author of The
Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom, 1887, paid
a flying visit.
Barnard wrote that Teaninich was "beautifully situated
on the margin of the sea, and about one and a half miles from
the station". It consisted of "several ranges of
substantial buildings which together with the manager's house,
workmen's cottages and farmsteadings, give it the appearance
of a small colony...Teaninich is the only distillery north
of Inverness that is lighted by electricity; besides which
it possesses telephonic communcation with the proprietor's
residence and the quarters of the excise officer."
Ross gave up the tenancy in 1895, when he was succeeded by
Munro & Cameron, of Elgin. John Murno, a spirit merchant,
and Robert Innes Cameron, a whisky broker, were the senior
and junior partners in this firm, to which the Munro family
conveyed the whole of the distillery capital, and all its
assets, in 1898. A trade paper reported in 1899 that Munro
& Cameron had spent "not much less than £10,000"
in extending and refitting Teaninich." "Every vessel
about the place is new, and just now the malt barns are being
Innes Cameron became the sole proprietor of Teaninich in 1904.
He already owned substantial interests in Highland distillery
companies, including Benrinnes,
Linkwood and Tamdhu and in
the course of time became Chairman of the Malt Distillers
Association. Cameron spent his boyhood in the coastal village
of Hopeman where he was loved and revered. He lived the rest
his life in Elgin until he passed away in 1932 at the age
of 72. A year later, his trustees sold Teaninich to Scottish
Malt Distillers Ltd. (SMD) and today, it is owned by Diageo.
The spirit produced at the Teaninich Distillery is used
mainly for blending purposes and is a key component of
Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch. Although never marketed
as a single malt, in 1992 a Flora and Fauna bottling was
released and three Rare Malts bottlings followed. Independent
bottlings are occasionally available.
Whisky author Michael Jackson describes Teaninich's house
style as "Robust, toffeeish, spicy, leafy. Restorative
or after dinner."
Courtesy of Diageo Scotland
TEANINICH 10 YEAR FLORA
& FAUNA SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Intriguing; green tea, dry grasses, floral. Sappy
note, sandalwood, ginger snaps, lemon verbena. About
to burst into life. Water softens it, but too much
kills the spiky aromatics.
Palate: Seemingly light, but complex. Almost sugary
start, solid mid-palate with a lovely oily feel.
Slightly austere (which I like).
Finish: Dry, soft, oily, moreish.
Comment: A dram you admire first, then love.
Tasting Notes by Dave Broom
THE MACALLAN 55 Year Old
in Lalique (Rare)
Nose: Intense, beautifully
combined wood and fruit. Juicy apricot. Cedar. Beeswax,
polished floors. Vanilla. Delicate gingerbread.
A touch of peat.
Palate: Caressing, enveloping, oily. So well in
tune with the nose. Fudgey. Nutmeg. Cinnamon.
Finish: Warm, lingering spiciness.
Comment: Well-matured, amazing for its age.
Tasting Notes by Martine Nouet
The Teaninich Distillery was founded in 1817 by Captain
Hugh Munro. In 1925 a visitor commented that some of the
distillery's buildings were 'rather primitive'. Both malting
floors consisted of solid clay. The "vital machinery",
however, was "sound and efficient". There was
"an immense mash-tun" capable of mashing 500 bushels
of malt at a time, and representing "the last word
in modernity". There were four stills and one pair
has been described as being very small.
Teaninich closed in 1939 as a result of wartime restrictions
on the supply of barley to distillers. When it restarted
in 1946, the smaller pair of stills was removed. At this
time, a steam engine provided the power needed for loading
and unloading the malt kiln, conveying malt to the mill
and working the mill and the stirrers in the mash tun. A
large water wheel, fed from the dam, was available to take
over the work of the steam engine, and a small water wheel,
fed from the overflow of the worm tanks, used to operate
the rummager in the wash still.
The steam engine and both water wheels were discarded in
favour of electric power when the stillhouse was refitted
in 1962. The number of stills was incrased from two to four,
and internal heating by steam replaced heating by coal-burning
furnances. An entirely new distillation unit, with six additional
stills, all steam heated, began production in 1970, making
Teaninich one of the largest SMD's distilleries. The new
unit was named "A Side".
The milling, mashing and fermentation part of the old distillery
("B Side") was rebuilt three years later. A plant
for the production of dark grains, a high-protein animal
feedingstuff, from the solid matter left over frm the mashing
and distillation processes, was built in 1975.
Process and cooling water are drawn from Dairywell Spring,
on the Novar Estate, where SMD has water rights. The distillery
occupies a site of approximately 20 acres (9 hectares).
SMD owns 13 houses for occupation by employees.
The Teaninich Distillery does not have a visitor's centre.