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Tamnavulin 20 Year Old 1992 Cadenhead’s


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@markjedi1Review by @markjedi1

1st May 2020


Tamnavulin 20 Year Old 1992 Cadenhead’s
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Tamnavulin… now that is a distillery that really does not appear on my radar often. This is only the twelfth dram I try from this Speysider. The name of the distillery, by the way, means ‘mill on the hill’, but I digress. I’m trying a malt that spent two decades on a wine cask from Chateau Lafitte – I think that should be Lafite-Rothschild (with one 1 in the first part) – a vineyard in the Bordeaux village of Pauillac, of which the wine is classified as Premier Grand Clu Classé. Anyway, let’s dive in!

On the nose, it starts very sweet like a warm stew of plums, strawberries and apples with some gooseberries and rhubarb in the mix. Very pleasant on some cloves and dark honey.

While the body is rather light, the taste is good and very sweet… well, the first sip at least. Then it suddenly turns quite sharp and even somewhat piquant. Too much to my taste. Chili peppers, tannins, cloves… they all overpower the fruit somewhat. It’s starting to taste more and more like glühwein. Along the way it picks up some red fruit, but eventually starts to lean towards plum liqueur. Not bad, but a bit too much of everything, making it unbalanced and therefor not a malt that you can relax with, but have to work through.

The wine influence is even more prominent on the bittersweet finish, making the malt sharper still, which is not to my liking.

It’s certainly interesting. But good? I would not go that far. The wine influence, in my book, is over the top. The nose, however, was excellent.

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