Whisky Connosr

Tamdhu 15 Year Old (46% abv presentation)

Quality Without Ornamentation

7 694

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

1st Dec 2020


Tamdhu 15 Year Old (46% abv presentation)
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Tamdhu distillery does not currently have a visitor's centre. I'm not sure why I find that oddly comforting. Looking at pictures of the distillery and warehouses online, the Tamdhu complex looks like it was built with practicality, not tourists, in mind. This isn't a recreation of Hobbiton or The Shire, that's for sure. I'm certain the people who work at Tamdhu are just as passionate about their craft as the showier, luxury distilleries but they seem to go about it in a more low-key and straightforward manner. Don't get me wrong; the Tamdhu website contains the requisite number of references to the finest sherry casks. I mean, if you don't include that bit, are you even legally allowed to call yourself a Speyside Single Malt? I'm not sure. All joking aside, Ian MacLeod distillers bought Tamdhu and re-opened it in 2012, determined to market it as a stand-alone single malt. From what I gather, most of Tamdhu's output had been used in blends before they closed in 2010. The Tamdhu range isn't as extensive as some others, but I find this refreshing as well. I'm not sure we really need another distillery releasing "limited edition" (limited to 50 000 bottles) NAS whiskies every other week.

Tasting notes: Tamdhu 15 Year Old (46% abv)

Neat from a Highland whisky glass

  • Nose: CLEAN sherry with no sulphur whatsoever (HUZZAH !), raisins, dates, cranberries, cherries, dark chocolate, walnuts, oak, after a rest in the glass there's some sticky dark toffee coming through
  • Palate: rich arrival, tobacco, leather, a bit peppery, more dates and dark fruits (figs, plums), nutty barley, vanilla, some oak tannins.
  • Finish: long and warming, with raisins, cranberries, fresh tobacco, oak spices (cinnamon, cloves), leather, dark cherries, rich vanilla lingers forever. This is what a sherry matured whisky should be.
  • Thoughts: There are plenty of tell-tale sherry notes, but the malt whisky's character isn't buried. "Balance" is a word that comes to mind. Perhaps there's a mix of first-fill and second-fill sherry casks in the vatting. I'm really note sure, but whatever they've done at Tamdhu, they've done a great job. This is a gamble that paid off for me. Tamdhu 15 isn't cheap here in Ontario, but I'm glad I bought a bottle.

Related Tamdhu reviews


fiddich1980 commented

I believe this juice was distilled when Edrington still owned the distillery. This sherried whisky, was a pleasant surprise so far this year. The chocolate, nut, and leather note are clean and complimentary. I may have to pick up another bottle.

3 years ago 2Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

Well I know what to be on the lookout for now.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@fiddich1980 So perhaps some luxury found its way into the bottling after all. It certainly would explain the “finest sherry oak casks”. wink

3 years ago 0

BlueNote commented

I’m very happy to see this glowing review @OdysseusUnbound, as I have one on the way from KWM.

3 years ago 1Who liked this?

RianC commented

Random double post, sorry!

3 years ago 0

RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound - I keep hearing good things about Tamdhu. Either this or the new 12 @43% seem well worth a look. Top review, as ever!

Oh and aren't all casks of the old and finest variety?! stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

3 years ago 1Who liked this?