Historically used for blending, Tamdhu flies under the radar of many scotch aficionados. But this underappreciated Speyside whisky compares well with more famous sherry bombs by offering a sweet, savory, slightly funky depth. At first sniff, Tamdhu seems like it might knock you out with one blow—but this gentle giant is a lover, not a fighter. Viscous and meaty, this cask-strength stunner reveals dried fruit, dark chocolate ganache, ginger spice, and saline minerality, thundering softly into a long finish. Ian Macleod Distillers revived Tamdhu, and their pledge to bring Rosebank back to life excites us to rediscover more top-quality whisky with a distinct identity. Number 8 in the 2017 Top 20
The first Batch Strength expression of Tamdhu appeared in 2015 and was also matured entirely in sherry casks and not chill filtered. Big, sweet sherry notes on the nose, with vanilla, sultanas, maraschino cherries, and Turkish Delight. Rich and full-bodied, with oloroso sherry, milk chocolate, vanilla, dates, ripe cherries, sweet oak, and allspice. The finish is sweet and long, with lingering, lively spices. A very quaffable, well-priced dram for sherry bomb lovers.
Aromas of newsprint, damp foliage, and wood spice dominate on the nose. Confident, almost fizzy sherry notes on the full palate, with sultanas, figs, and fruit spices. It becomes progressively more citric. The lengthy finish produces dark chocolate dipped in chili sauce. A sherry-soaked dram.
Molasses, orange peel, and prickly oak spices on the nose; herbal, oily green notes develop. Finally, more overt sherry. The palate is supple, with sweet sherry and icing sugar notes, plus Turkish Delight, fruitcake, and toffee. Ultimately, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Cloves, more dark chocolate, and mouth-drying oak in the long finish.
Duncan Taylor (distilled at Tamdhu), Cask # 7313, 34 year old, 1969 vintage, 40.2%
Single Malt Scotch | $250.00
A whisky that defies its age. It is remarkably clean and fresh, with no suggestion of excessive oak. Fragrant aroma, with notes of vanilla, coconut, honeyed malt, cereal grain, and linseed. Similar follow through on the palate, with a texture that is soft, lightly oily, and soothing. Clean finish. One of the best Tamdhu whiskies I’ve tasted.
Ian MacLeod’s first release of Tamdhu was a belter. Now, finally, it’s been joined by this high-strength NAS. There’s no hint of the high strength on the nose, which is all caramel toffee and shortbread, backed with sultana-like sherry cask influence. The palate is the same: nut, dark fruits, and date. Hugely approachable. With water, it’s a matter of…chocolate? Maltesers! All you want in a sherried whisky, and it won’t burn a hole in your wallet either. £60
A very welcome arrival from new owners Ian MacLeod, this has been aged in sherry
wood. As a result, you can’t help comparing it to Macallan and while there’s
none of the oily depths, there are fragrant top notes of honey and apple before
some resin and warm leather develop, but no sulfur. Some of the richness is
lost with water, so I’d leave it as is. This is a stunner for a 10 year old and
is marked accordingly. Value Pick £34
Relatively dry on the nose, with citrus fruit, hazelnut, and quite dry sherry. The palate is full and rich, with sweeter sherry notes, cinnamon, and banoffee pie. Jaffa oranges, hot chocolate, and slightly tannic oak in the medium-length finish. Matured in oloroso casks.
Douglas Laing Old Particular (distilled at Tamdhu) 16 year old, 46%
Single Malt Scotch | $101
Pale straw. The nose is very draff-like/sweet mash, then green herbal notes, reminiscent of angelica. The palate remains light and slightly hot on the tongue, with some cereal and a certain fatness. Water brings out a little more from the cask. A delicate and pleasant enough dram, but I’m slightly bemused as to why it’s being bottled at this age when there’s clearly so much more to give. £69