For The Weekend: Teacher’s Highland Cream Review

Teachers HIghland Cream
Teachers Highland Cream

Teacher’s Highland Cream Review

Teacher’s Highland Cream
Grade: C
Teacher’s Comments: Not bad for the price

Teacher’s is a relatively inexpensive Scotch reportedly blended from thirty different single malt whiskies. Ardmore Single malt is the foundation of the blend, though. The literature on the blend says it is 45% single malt.

Teachers is a pretty innocuous blend. It’s got a little smoke, a little earth, a little honey, a little vanilla, a touch of nuttiness. None of these are particularly strong, so it just might be a good introduction to Scotch for a newcomer. If any of those flavors have a particular appeal, you could then branch out into something with more of that flavor profile. For example, if you think you’d like to try a more smoky taste, then a single malt Laphroaig could be next on your list.

The whisky dates to 1884, and was one of several creations of William Teacher, a grocer turned whisky distributor and blender. Teacher began his business thanks to the 1823 excise act, which made whisky more available. Teacher opened a series of Dram shops in Glasgow beginning in the 1830s, from which he sold his various blends.

In 1899, Teacher’s sons founded the Teacher’s open Ardmore, their first single malt distillery. The distillery was built to ensure a steady and consistent supply of the blend’s base.

I was amused to read of the origins of another of Teacher’s blends, the “Australian Bonded,” which was created in 1887. As a way of saving on storage costs, Teacher’s shipped their whiskey to Australia in casks stored as ballast, giving the whisky some additional months of aging.

Teachers was also a pioneer in something they called a “self-opening bottle.” The simple innovation was to taper the cork from bottom to top, making it easy to remove without a corkscrew.

My research on Teachers’ origins also turned up the online rumor that the blend has changed in recent years, and that it is not nearly as desirable as before. I don’t know the truth of that, and have no way of testing it, other than finding a bottle from ten years ago and doing a side-by-side taste test.

I honestly think Teachers Highland Cream might be your best bet for the occasional Scotch cocktail. You could try a Scotch and Soda, a Scotch Sour, a Rob Roy (a Manhattan with Scotch),  or a Rusty Nail (Scotch and Drambuie). I like a Highball (whisky and ginger ale). For the price, you won’t feel guilty about using up the really good stuff for a trifling (But I have no doubt some Scotch fan will believe my words blasphemous).




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