Teachers Highland Cream is a leading blended Scotch whisky brand, and is extremely popular in global markets, especially in India and other Asian countries. Its robust quality at an astonishingly affordable price can be attributed for its supreme success.
A perfect fit to be sipped on neat, and with an ability to seamlessly blend into a mixers like seltzer or ginger ale, Teachers Highland Cream is a great drink of Scotch no matter the drinker’s preference.
Now, a lot has been said about the necessity to drink Scotch whisky neat if you wish to fully appreciate it, and that mixing a Scotch whisky into a cocktail is an abomination, and an unforgivable offence. Sure no horde of Scotsmen will descend upon you to chastise you for mixing a Scotch whisky into a cocktail, or drowning it into a generous helping of cola.
For the sake of understanding how to drink Scotch whisky and truly appreciate it such as Teachers Highland Cream for what it is, and not for the buzz it delivers, we spoke to a Scottish bartender who shares his two cents on Scotch whisky and how it must be enjoyed.
The Scots take their whisky very seriously, and just about everything about their ways is more unique and different than the others. Whether it’s the way they distil their whisky, or the way they drink it, Scotch whisky surely is unlike any other kind of whisky in the market, whether it’s the spirit from the neighbouring Irish country, or much further in the United States of America.
What experience are you looking for?
If you prefer to enjoy an exhilarating night pumping with energy, and wish to indulge in cocktails and mixers, that’s a personal choice. We can help you navigate the interesting world of whisky cocktails, an adventurous one with no set of rules to adhere to. Check out the best whisky cocktail recipes on The Whiskypedia here.
Do you intend to go old school and taste the whisky in all its glory, as the whisky connoisseurs do and swear by?
Our bartender friend begins our crash course in the ‘art of tasting fine Scotch whisky’ with the most important advice, and that is the choice of your whisky glass. He recommends opting for a Snifter or a Glencairn glass with a bulbous bottom, and narrow mouth that allows the aromas to escape the spirit, trapping them inside with a narrow mouth, allowing them to slowly waft through.
“If you intend to nose and taste the whisky for what it is, never add anything else to it, except maybe a few drops of fresh water”, our Scottish bartender says.
You would be surprised at how many whisky experts suggest drinking your whisky without ice, so the addition of a splash of water, soda, or something as criminal as ginger ale would invite capital punishment. In their eyes at least.
The reason you must avoid adding mixers is fairly clear, since you would not want anything to meddle with your whisky tasting experience.
Now the thing about a few drops of water is that it helps the phenol ‘guaiacol’ to rise from the bottom of the glass where it is attached to ethanol molecules, and rise towards the top of the whisky. The rise of guaiacol to the top releases the harsh aromas and allows you to get to know the more subtle aromas from the whisky with ease.
“This is the first step towards indulging in whisky tasting like a pro.” He says.
Teachers Highland Cream is known to have a very gentle and soft nose, with a malty sweetness and some fruity aromas. There is also a touch of peatiness to the Teachers blend.
Hold the bottom of the bottom of the glass, gently swirl the drink in the glass and bring it closer to your nose. Slowly take in the aromas of the Scotch with a sniff, take a moment to understand the aromas with your eyes closed.”
This bit is called ‘Nosing’, which is followed by the actual tasting of the whisky.
Take a small sip, allow it to swirl on your tongue as the flavours of the Scotch begin to present themselves, and then swallow.
A sweet toffee flavour, with hints of malt and fruitiness follow when you taste the Teachers Highland whisky, and some amount of peatiness.
Pay attention to how the whisky goes down, because that is what we call, the finish.
Does the whisky’s aftertaste linger for a moment, does it leave a smoky, sweet, harsh, or dry aftertaste? After you have swallowed the whisky, the flavour lingers and evolves in your mouth. This phenomenon is known as the ‘Finish’ of the whisky.
The Teachers Highland Cream has a pleasant finish, with the Ardmore single malt in the blend carrying the peatiness to the very end of the drink.
What other brands of Scotch whisky must you try?
If you enjoyed your experience with Teachers Highland Cream, and are looking to broaden the horizons of your whisky tasting resume, you can try the following brands;
The Chivas Regal 12, a blended Scotch whisky with a 12-Year age statement. The historic Speyside distillery, the Strathisla supplies the fingerprint single malt for this blend. An excellent and smooth Scotch whisky that is packed with flavour and pleasantness.
Another phenomenal blended Scotch whisky expression is the immensely popular Ballantine’s Finest, a no-age-statement beauty from the house of Ballantine’s. It is one of the world’s highest selling Scotch whisky expressions, and delivers a breathtakingly subtle blend of flavours and aromas.
If you are new to the world of whisky-tasting, or have recently taken up a keen interest in whisky, these are the must-try brands for every whisky-loving rookie from whence you may look forward to becoming a master!