Tamdhu

   

Tamdhu distillery is located in Knockando, Aberlour, Morayshire and owned by Edrington. Since being founded in 1886 Tamdhu has suffered a rather chequered history as it was closed between 1911-1913.

Output was vastly increased between 1920-1925, but in 1928 it was once more closed or mothballed, only to be opened again in 1948.

In the 1970's production was significantly increased again as it was bottled as a single malt for the first time.

Unfortunately, Tamdhu was once more mothballed in April 2010 by the current owners; Edrington.

 
   

June 2011 brings great news as Tamdhu is given a new lease of life by Ian MacLeod Distillers who have purchased the distillery from Edrington.

 

More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

Distillery photos by kind permission of Teun van Wel

General whisky characteristics: Fresh, clean nose, big and floral, sometimes maritime.

 

 

 

Independent Bottlers

 
   

G&M, 'The Macphail's Collection' Tamdhu, 8y, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Freshly caught shellfish on an Atlantic beach, then served with ripe green apples.

Palate: Much bigger and more solid than the nose suggests. Liquorice and light ginger toffee.

Finish: Medium to long.

Overall Impression: A very maritime nose turns into a rather quick, but solid dram filled with promise. I originally said this was short, but it must have been my palate on the night as on my second tasting (on a different evening) the finish was delightful and the whisky pleasantly complex. Excellent!

   
 

Whisky & Chocolate: Sur del Lago by Domori (supplied by Franz) Wow, individualy both the chocolate and whisky were excellent, but together something quite magical happened; A soft, rounded experience with the best traits of each component, but suddenly appearing as one. I think the 'magical' element here was the very slight coffee flavour of the Sur del Lago. If you can find this chocolate you must try it with this Tamdhu!

 

 

 
   

Duncan Taylor, 'Auld' Tamdhu, distilled 1969, bottled 2004, 34y,  40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light gold

Nose: Very intense and floral, green apples and car polish.

Palate: Perfumed, floral liquorice with apple, violets and dry, fino sherry.

Finish: Medium to long and very floral.

Overall Impression: A really very good whisky, don't let my 'car polish' put you off, this is very good. Pour me another!

 

   
   

Creative Whisky Co. Cask Sample

Tamdhu, distilled 1984, 25y, 'approx' 50.6% ABV

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Yellow gold (18ct)

Nose: The nose is initially quite weak and faint, I'm going to give this one some time. Sure enough, as the minutes roll by this develops firstly into a slightly sweet and fruity whisky, then with further patience some lovely floral or slightly perfumed elements appear, but there is a constant and very light maltiness lurking in the background. With even more patience (now almost 10 minutes) I am suddenly reminded of an old-fashioned sweet shop counter from my early childhood. You know, nothing pre-wrapped and all those wonderful childhood delights begging you to select them.

Palate: Deliciously smooth with lightly perfumed faint liquorice and a complex mixture of floral and maybe even some herbal elements amongst that childood sweet shop. But I think it needs some water.

With 4 drops of water: The water immediately helps the nose to develop quicker than it did without it. The nose is still delicate, but with lots of floral malt and a hint of grass. The palate has developed much more spice, tingle or slight pepper which contrasts with the perfumed floral elements. I would say the liquorice is slightly enhanced too.

With 4 more drops of water: Lightly perfumed malted barley on the nose delicately caresses the senses. The tingle of the palate is concentrated right on the front of the tongue, whilst the liquorice and a hint of slightly charred wood caresses the throat. There is also a hint of citrus fruit which I would describe as a lime grove in the midday sunshine, but this is really faint and dashes in and out of the palate.

With a final 4 drops of water: The nose has weakened somewhat and the palate is maybe not quite so peppery, but the citrus rather than the liquorice is now accentuated.

Finish: Long, very long with what I can only describe as the best selection of liquorice allsorts, but also a move towards very dark (80-90% cacao) chocolate right at the end. As water was added, the finish also exhibited some citrus elements reminiscent of a lime grove in the midday sunshine, perhaps on the banks of Lake Garda.

Overall Impression: This begins as a shy sample not wanting to give up its secrets, but with patience it develops into a very good whisky which should be proud to sit in the glass. It's light and delicate whilst at the same time complex and fulfilling. I like this one very much! It needs water, but not too much.

 

   
   

Creative Whisky Co. "Exclusive Malts"

Tamdhu, distilled 12. Oct. 1984, 26y, 50.1% ABV

One of 162 bottles for WWW Forum

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Oak, light amber

Nose: Immediately very aromatic with fresh sawdust amidst aged oak, perhaps even lightly polished followed by a burst of dark fruit with black cherries and plums.

Palate: Deliciously smooth as it caresses the palate with those cherries and plums, but now joined by a creamy suggestion of nuts with a hint of lavendar.

With 4 drops of water: Much more floral nose, very aromatic. The creamy palate is slightly sweeter and lighter.

Finish: Long, very long. Is that just a hint of raspberry right at the end?

Overall Impression: The cask sample in the note above was sent to me for evaluation by MArk of the WhiskyWhiskyWhisky forum as he had the chance to use this as the first forum bottling. This is now that bottling and is very different from the cask sample. Whereas the sample was a little shy and slow to start, this one is right there from the first pour and just continues delightfully. Much better than the sample, which in itself was very good, I love this excellent whisky!

 

     
 

 

Douglas Laing, "Old & Rare" Tamdhu 21y, Dec. 1989 - Nov. 2011, 55.3% abv.

Sherry Hogshead, one of 205 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Live Dram-atics Review

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Very dark, treacle toffee

Nose: Extremely rich, offering dark fruits, toasted or slightly scorched wood, figs and a hint of freshly ground coffee beans. No, wait a minute, maybe mocha chocolate would be more accurate.

Palate: A big burst of that mocha chocolate confirms what I sensed on the nose. Alongside this is a dark fruitiness and a suggestion of toasted walnut. This is all wrapped in a delightfully creamy mouth-feel.

With 4 drops of water: Much more floral nose, very aromatic. The creamy palate is slightly sweeter and lighter.

Finish: Very long, also with a toasted feel which just lingers and lingers and ...

Overall Impression: Here is an excellent recipe; take one usually light and floral Tamdhu, fill it into a decent sherry cask, pop it into a dark and cool warehouse and leave for 21 years, then appreciate! Excellent.

I had the chance to revisit this whisky in Scotland, June 2012

The nose was almost exclusively filled with wood, wood, and more wood. I did say almost exclusively - well there were hints of tobacco too. Having said this, the nose was really pretty good.

The palate also had that tobacco but alongside espresso coffee and toasted oak.

Overall Impression: I was delighted with this whisky the first time around, but sadly not so much so this time. Maybe it was just me on that day, who knows, but I can only say I was disappointed on the second tasting.

 

   
 

 

G&M, 'The Macphail's Collection' Tamdhu, 8y, 40% ABV

Purchased 2012 (2011-2012 edition?)

Typical cost of this bottle;

 
 

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Light 9ct gold

Nose: Very aromatic with some light floral overtones over a gentle leafy maltiness. Ooooh, now I'm thinking of bedding washed with floral fabric conditioner blowing in the wind to dry.

Palate: Smooth and creamy, lightly nutty with a faint maltiness and more of those floral notes.

Finish: Surprisingly long and repeating and hints of mintiness.

Overall Impression: I do tend to enjoy this style of whisky but the one slight let-down for me here was an overall lack of ooomph. If only it were 43-46% abv.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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