By Father John Rayls
For me, Tamdhu 10 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky was a surprise tasting experience, and I do love these kinds of surprises! Tamdhu is a Speyside distillery, dating to 1896 and its name meaning “dark little hill” in Gaelic. Among its oddities is its use of a Saladin box, a 19th Century piece of equipment, to do its maltings. Like many distilleries, Tamdhu has been mothballed a few times, most recently from 2010 to 2013. Until the distillery was revived and embodied in a brand under new ownership, its production was directed to blends like Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark.
Tamdhu 10 year is aged exclusively in sherry casks, something that shows in both appearance and flavor. One puzzling note reflects an apparent 80 proof release in Scotland and an 86 proof version for the US. I sampled the higher proof version.
The coloring reflects the sherry cask aging, which made it a darker colored Scotch. It appears dark gold with some dark red tints observed. The light reflects off of and through the whisky with bright gold and polished brass highlights. The legs are somewhat reluctant, but eventually become prolific and persistent. They actually put on quite a show.
The nose is a shy one. Initially, there is a faint pungent odor accompanied quickly by light and sweet orange, sherry, oak and vanilla. Some other dried fruits make an appearance underneath the initial aromas. There is also some very light smoke available, no doubt from the lightly peated barley.
This is not a complex whisky, but it is nicely balanced. There is a light, creamy mouthfeel with most of the action at mid-mouth both upper and lower. Flavors of toffee, orange and other dried (sweet) fruits appear. The finish totally caught me off guard. It’s long, spicy and satisfying, coming in medium waves of peppery spice on top of the light sweet fruitiness mixed with faint vanilla and malt. The mouth experience slowly moves from mid-mouth along the edges of the tongue to the tip eventually ending on the lips.
Tamdhu 10 Year Old is a smooth, easy drinking Scotch that will surprise you.
This item appears to be available in the US for around $60.00 to $65.00.