Tamdhu 10 Years Old (40%, OB, 2013)
- 40% ABV, £30 for 70cl
- Score 74/100
What they say:
Enthused by a legacy of enlightenment, Tamdhu’s founders set out to construct the most pioneering distillery in the world. A water wheel positioned beneath the floor for optimum performance, kilns redesigned to reduce heat loss – and waste extracted by Archimedean Screw, direct to the distillery’s own railway station. Few names other than Tamdhu so embody the‘Can-Dhu-Spirit’ of our grand Industrial Age.
However, fine whisky is not created by technical innovation alone. Carefully selected barley was expertly malted, then combined with cold, clear water direct from the Tamdhu spring. The final ‘ingredient’: fine oak casks from the most trusted sources. Together, these elements combined to ensure the unswerving magnificence of every drop.
113 years later the distillery fell silent, but its soul lived on. Fuelled by the same ‘Can-Dhu-Spirit’ and passion for quality that inspired those daring merchants an age before, Ian Macleod Distillers took on the challenge. A family enterprise, independent in thought and ownership, they set out to return the eminent distillery to former glory.
To honour their efforts, the sherry casks in use today are of the same quality insisted upon in 1897. Only the best European and American oak is selected to mature the precious spirit. These casks are amongst the finest in the industry with a high proportion being first-fill and teaming with flavour.
Ten Year Old – Matured exclusively in sherry casks
Bursting with fruit and spice – gently yielding to toffee and sherry oak with the merest wisp of peat smoke.
What I say:
I recently visited the sister distillery to Tamdhu, Glengoyne in the Campsie Fells. I had only heard of Tamdhu before with their recent re-launch and introduction of the entry level 10 year old in their new ‘antique’ bottle shape. Whilst the bottle is very pretty and I am a sucker for sherry matured or sherry finished whisky I really had to get my hands on some to try this out. A 3cl sample from Master of Malt set me back £3.99 – was it money well spent?
This is complex on the nose, starting with a musty fizz from the sherry oak it also has sweet fruits and spirity aromas, a hint of leather and tannins and an almost savoury quality reminiscent of the cantonese dish lemon chicken [star anise or five spice perhaps]
The taste starts in a similar vein with orange and ginger marmalade notes but here the fizz takes a turn for the sweeter and reminds me almost of love heart or refresher sweeties dissolving on my tongue with lemon citrus [like lemon sherbet], perhaps hints of butterscotch and raisins
The finish is dry and oaky with lemon and barley sugar sweetness that persist and develops into milk chocolate & orange oil
Would I buy it again:
This is a bit of a mouthful and very contrasting in the aroma and flavour departments but overall a hugely enjoyable dram. I’d be interested in trying more from Tamdhu to work out if this is dominated by their sherry cask maturation and to what extent the flavours in this are contributed to by the distillate. Overall for £30 a bottle this is very richly flavoured and would appeal to sherry-nuts like myself. In the end I find myself thinking it is a little thinly textured and would perhaps have benefited from being bottled at 43% rather than 40% ABV. Overall I feel this dram went down well with both me and miss whiskyphiles so I wouldn’t be surprised if a full bottle does hit our shelves sometime soon.