Situated along the River Spey, the Tamdhu distillery was founded in 1897 as a joint venture between several distilleries such as John Walker, John Dewar, William Sanderson, William Grant and a few others with the intention of supplementing some of their blends. But as was with several distilleries at the time, the balance between demand and supply was rudely interrupted, at times due to financial stress while others because of global events like the Great Depression and the Prohibition Act, causing the establishment to fall into silent slumber for a number of years.
Come 2011, distillers Ian MacLeod swooped in as men in shining armour and took ownership after the distillery had changed hands a few times. The focus was to ensure a continued emphasis on the Tamdhu product while also strengthening product banding. An outcome to this was the 15 YO expression and several others. The 15 YO in specific was introduced towards the end of 2018, coming in an oddly shaped, Mediterranean inspired bottle. The contents of this expression were exclusively matured in a combination of American and European oloroso sherry oak casks from the cooperages of Jerez, Spain. And better yet, is the lack of artificial colouring with the stray away from chill filtration!!
Nose: Lovely scented cinnamon rolls accompanied by a vanilla – caramel dressing, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of dark raisins. You almost sense a hint of peat followed by crisp, fresh rasberries, dates and plums with bits of milk chocolate shavings. A pinch of white pepper is felt on the nose as it slowly begins to tapers off.
Taste: Vanilla shortcake mixed with raisins, blueberries, dried fruits and bits of licorice. Woody on the palate, with the zest of lime and red apples, accompanied by some crushed cinnamon sticks and sprinkles of pepper.
Finish : Vanilla cupcake and apples with a mild dryness and some spice.
The Tamdhu is an extremely pleasant dram, delivering good depth and warmth. Smooth and medium bodied, the whisky introduces you to a lovely fusion of spice and sweetness with a whisper of heat. The flavour profile is congruent on both the nose and palate to what one’s expectations would be considering its exclusivity in sherry oak barrels. And with an above par bottling of 46% abv, it still is a bit pricey but delivers decent value for money for a 15YO Speyside scotch at AUD $115.