Michiel Wigman has been a fixture of the Dutch (and international) whisky scene for a long time. Earlier this year he released his first series of single cask whiskies, all bottled as part of the They Inspired series. For instance, this Teaninich 1999 20 Years features Mahatma Gandhi, someone who definitely qualifies for greatest human being ever.
As part of the Blind Tasting Competition, I reviewed Michiel’s Croftengea, a wacky, sometimes challenging, but quality whisky. As a result, he got in touch and kindly offered to send me samples of some of his other bottlings.
For those of you that haven’t heard of Michiel Wigman yet, he’s a well-known collector who also goes by Mr. Springbank, and founder of the Dutch Whisky Connection. He’s responsible for getting many Dutch whisky drinkers hooked on the classics from yesteryear, and I know for a fact that one of the world’s foremost Glenugie collectors started his collection because of Michiel.
Michiel and I have met at the Whiskybase Gathering, although I doubt he remembers that meeting. I was simply a customer and he an exhibitioner. So we know of each other, but don’t really know each other. I for one am looking forward to getting to know Michiel just a little bit better through the whiskies he picked.
We’ll start with the Teaninich 1999 20 Years, but in the coming weeks I’ll review a few of his other releases as well.
Teaninich 1999 20 Years (49.7%, Michiel Wigman, 238 bts.)
Nose: Fresh, citric and mineral with wet pebbles and some chalk. Soft notes of pear skin and ripe green apple as well, with just a touch of honey, sweet barley water and burlap. Finally some pineapple juice as well. Really enticing. Taste: Surprisingly creamy and somewhat waxy on arrival, with melted butter as the highlight. The oak influence is very gentle. Plenty of sweet pastries, some breakfast cereals, and subtle notes of bright fruits (citrus mainly, but even some lychee at one point). Finally a spicy note that livens everything up, as well as some green veggies. Finish: Lingering grassy notes as well as some baked pears.
It’s a subtle single malt which veeres towards gentle, but isn’t. It has enough of that Highland ruggedness to keep things very interesting over time.
Teaninich probably isn’t praised often enough and that might partly be because of availability. Here’s to hoping more parcels are put up for sale, so independents like Michiel Wigman can cherry pick these wonderful casks.