Originally opened in 1897, the Speyside distillery of Tamdhu has finally reopened its doors after a silent period in its history. It was taken over by Ian Macleod Distillers in 2011 and the company has worked hard to get the distillery to where it is today – the launch of a brand new 10 year old whisky. Past direction has changed and Tamdhu is now focusing on maturing its spirit in European Oak casks which leads us nicely to the new 10 year old. This release is fully matured in Spanish Sherry casks, non- chill filtered and bottled at 40%. It retails for a shade under £35.
Before providing some tasting notes though, I have to say that I love the design surrounding Tamdhu. The new shape bottle is delightful and would grace the shelf of any bar, expensive or otherwise. It reminds me (and others) of a slightly fancy and large coca-cola bottle and something about the shape and labelling just appeals to me. The new website is also a treat – I love the concept and design of it and I think it is a really classy job well done.
After waxing lyrical about that, you’ll be pleased to know that we think the whisky lives up to the support acts. Old Tamdhu isn’t a spirit I’ve had often, (infact I could count the amount of times on one hand) but this new incarnation is well worth checking out if you want a whisky that is new, well priced, delicious and a bit different from the other bottles that you could pick up in this price range.
Nose: Lots of cocoa powder initially hit the senses before it sweetens into more of a milk chocolate paste. There are lots of raisins combined with red liquorice sticks and a touch of Indian spice hidden in the depths. Finally we were treated to a caramelised banana flambé with an extra dark treacle topping.
Palate: There were lots of toffee and fudge notes to begin the tasting, but once these had faded the whisky became really interesting – we found blackberries, prunes, cloves and some cinnamon. The whisky was also a touch salty amongst which we found some crushed peppercorns to complete the experience.
Finish: Warm and slightly peppery.