Review: Tamdhu Batch Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

European and American Oak Sherry Casks
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Tamdhu (Knockando, Scotland)

Tamdhu is a major contributor to blends, which is why we don't see too many single malts from there. It, notably, has its own maltings, meaning it is one of a few distilleries which makes its own malts. Morever, these are saladin maltings – chamber sized baths with fans underneath filled with germinating barley and turned by an Archimedes screw. Each of Tamdhu’s ten chambers can hold 22 tons of barley (wow!). In terms of malting, it is self-sufficient, also providing malt for Highland Park and Glenrothes.

In 2009 the distillery was mothballed, and then sold to Ian McLeod in 2011 who also own Glengoyne. The brand re-launced in 2013. Still using up old stock, obviously, so the new stock produced by McLeod will come with time.

Review (2016)

  • Batch: 1 (58.8%)

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2015

Quite a lively nose, this – the sherry is there, quite nicely in fact, with some fresh grape, light rancio, vanilla, currants, smoky oak, walnut oil, and intense fruitcake spices – quite fascinating, in fact. There’s even a touch of candied orange here, very light honey, and also a bit of cheesiness that grows with time. The palate brings forth quite a bit of honey – much like the intense creamed wildflower honey I loved in England when I was growing up. Lots of cinnamon and light oak in a cleansing finish. The sherry works well, the oak is balanced nicely, as is the sherry – all holding their weight quite well. I quite like this watered down to 48% (often my preferred drinking strength) – but it works very nicely at cask strength as well and so how I prefer it depends upon mood. The finish is prominent but not quite as balanced as the rest of this, which is the main fault, or quite as big as it should be at this strength, in my opinion. Not quite as big as A’Bunadh, but it is a bit more subtle even at this cask strength. A very worthy sherry bomb - this is quite fantastic!

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Average, at $88.