When – in 2011 – Tamdhu distillery was acquired by Ian MacLeod Distillers, the whisky lovers’ cries of joy were heard all over the world. It’s the same company that owns Glengoyne, a distillery that has recently been relaunched with high quality OB. Will it happen also to Tamdhu? Thanks to our mustached friend – the Italian importer – we’ve the opportunity to taste the first new bottling, presented at the last Spirit of Speyside: it’s a 10 yo sherry matured. We tried the English market version (40% ABV), the European one will be bottled at 43%. The bottle is really nice, can we say that?
N: the alcohol’s curtain is not insurmountable, but there are some alcoholic spikes that prickle your nose. At the beginning it’s recognizable “Mortlachish” note, something dirty that decreases with time: a slight rancidity, a hint of balsamic vinegar. It smells also a bit metallic (rust?). In short, it’s rather sharp, with some edges, but beyond it here it comes a fresh and sugary malt (brown sugar) and the fruity/sweet sherried side (sultanas, red apples, hints of wild berries). The nose is not memorable, but it certainly shows an impressive personality.
P: the body is very easy. It’s rather surprising: the controversial off-notes of the nose are almost gone (only some ferruginous whiffs and a bit of alcohol survive). This emphasizes the malty sweetness (brown sugar, rusks, créme caramel). Very pleasant presence of red fruits. Sultanas, trifle, dark chocolate.
F: the most intense and pleasant part. Very prolonged, nuts (hazelnuts), red fruits, chocolate and malt.The meaty notes of the nose that left us puzzled disappear on the palate. That is convincing, in spite of the low ABV that weakens the whole tasting experience. It’s rather simple, but the casks’ influence is lively and the malt taste is really nice. The finish is surprising for intensity and persistence. In short, the entry level of the new core range is promising. For us it’s 82/100.
Recommended soundtrack: Eagles of Death Metal – I only want you.