Two things upfront:
1) I think Goran may have let the cat out of the bag early on this one, calling it
One of our favourite finds of 2013. Possibly the best taste-for-value around.
— iscotch.ca (@iscotchdotca) November 22, 2013
on Twitter. So he’ll get burned with cigarettes for Ed Snowdon’ing our content.
2) It’s spelled Té Bheag Nan Eilean and pronouced /ˈtʲʰeː ˈvek/ and means “small dram of the Islands”, but we just called it TeaBag. You can too, it leads to jokes like “take a big swig of TeaBag” and “Goran can’t get enough TeaBag” and “TeaBag is a scrotum reference”.
However, Goran was right, this is one of our favourite finds of 2013.
Té Bheag is a product of Pràban na Linne – The Gaelic Whiskies, a small company based out on the Isle of Skye. They claim to be the only whisky BASED on Skye, but Talisker still holds the title of the only distillery on Skye. However, that may have an expiry date as Pràban na Linne is planning on building a new distillery in Sleat. Gee, I wonder if Talisker is being represented at the zoning meetings for that one.
Interesting thing about Pràban na Linne and their whiskies is their former owner, Sir Iain Andrew Noble, 3rd Baronet of Ardkinglas and Eilean Iarmain (right). A noble named Noble. Cool, if you like authoritarian, anachronistic class systems or proper labeling. Except he’s not really a noble; if you check out what that titles means, a Baronet is a Lord of a Baronetcy, which is a “realm” sold for money. You get the title and.. i dunno, some tax money and prima nochta rights or something. But the main thing is calling yourself (and making other people call you) a Lord and making sure your children are just fucking insufferable.
So John Noble bought himself a title, and his grandson was the 3rd Baronet. Lineage, it’s like math. Sir Iain seems to have been a bit of a Gaelic Caledonophile(*) who supported movements towards reinstating Gaelic as a functional language in Scotland, similar to the successes they’ve achieved in Wales. He had a stated employment policy discriminating in favour of Gaelic speakers, and despite not being a native speaker himself, raised the first Gaelic road sign and had the first Gaelic chequebook. So, go Sir Iain, you do your linguistic community proud.
(*) Caledonophile is a lesser-used term, the more common term is Scotophile. This is problematic because scotophile is also an adjective meaning “thriving in the dark”. Plus, Caledonophile has a nice ring to it when used with Hibernophile, Cambrophile and Anglophile for Ireland, Wales and England, respectively.
Here’s what we thought:
Dan – smooth, glides off tongue, smokey aftertaste, velvety, creamy but not thick
Simon – maple sap, slight kick
Ryan – caramel & chocolate
Goran – obvious blend, sardines
Dan – love it, opens and mellows
Simon – opens sweeter, nice
Ryan – n/a
Goran – n/a
Try it? Yes. Buy it? You can’t beat the value.