Category Archives: Tamdhu

Tamdhu Batch Strength Batch No: 003 Review

Poor man’s Aberlour a’bunadh? Maybe. Maybe not. In terms of personal preference and local price point, yeah, I guess it would qualify as such, but the reality is that Tamdhu Batch Strength is more like a savoury variant of the big, bold and youthful sherry bomb that Aberlour took to the mainstage a wee while back when they launched a’bunadh. It’s great to have options, innit? And it’s even better to have options that come in $35 lower than said Aberlour. (a’bunadh is now $140 in Alberta! WTF happened there?!)

Most of the Tamdhu I’ve had thus far has been much older than this one, mellowed by a couple decades in wood and allowed to soften into something cool and complex. Especially those gems from the ’60s and ’70s. Wow! This beast, though? Never in a million years would I have pegged this as Tamdhu. The style is loud to the point of distortion. Distillery character is almost lost in favor of (obvious) wet-fill sherry casking. This sort of intensity is almost like sipping the syrupy eau-de-vie out of a jar of griottines. A one-and-done per night sort of dram for me.

All said…quite nice. Won’t have the complexity, depth and age that seasoned drinkers generally look for in their malts, but definitely serves as an occasional bombastic treat and will certainly light up the noobs.

59.3% abv

Tasting Notes

Nose: Spicy mince. Ginger bread with kirsch baked right through it. Or maybe it’s Chambord. Berries or tree fruit either way. Quite figgy. Damp cedar. Melting chocolate and new leather. Tobacco. A floral note runs through the middle as well. Caramel-y, fudge-y notes. Freshly made cinnamon buns before they hit the oven.

Palate: Jaysus! This is hot. Big sweet and spicy arrival. Lots of tree fruits and berries. Ginger and cinnamon. Peppered berries. Big, bold and spicy oak notes. Hints of mulled wine and cold tea. A little bit of licorice, red and black. Reminds of Christmas.

Finish: Just slightly tannic, but overall very juicy and man…does this one linger. Eventually tightens up into cranberries and red popsicle (still on the stick).

Thoughts: Definitely not one of those antique-y styles of old school sherried malt we love so much, but still exciting. I’m not generally a water-in-my-whisky kinda guy, but something this young, this spicy and this high strength will absolutely take a decent dollop of water and survive. She’s a feisty ‘un. And I have a bit of a crush on her at the moment, despite the fact she’s not my preferred style.


Tamdhu 42 y.o. (A.D. Rattray) Review

Tamdhu 42 y.o. (A.D. Rattray) Review003

43.8% abv

Score:  92.5/100


Good friends and good whisky.  These two things, in tandem, have formed an integral part of my social sphere for the past few years.  The two go hand-in hand for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is the inspired conversation that evolves from the neck of a fine old malt.  In vino veritas, I’ve said on more than one occasion to more than one of my mates.

At a recent closed club gathering, a select handful of the Collective damaged the hell out of an exceptional single cask A.D. Rattray bottling of Tamdhu.  A 42 year old dram.  Sometimes, in the spirit of humility, it’s imperative to take a moment and reflect on the fact that you’re drinking a piece of history.  Great men and women of ages past are only now getting the recognition so well deserved.

I’ll spare you the mundane distillery details here, and simply let the whisky speak…

This is dessert at Gramma’s place…late night fireplace contemplation…rest breaks on deep forest hikes…reading old copies of classic books…last drams of the night with the few favored friends.  It’s odd, but this whisky is nostalgia bottled.  It takes me places.  And honestly…I’m a little sad to come back.

The thing about a whisky like this…the inclination is to zealously guard your prize and ruminate on many a night ahead of glorious sipping, but the true and proper way to enjoy a bottle of this caliber…open it and drink it with friends.  Make some memories.  They’ll last a lot longer than the whisky will.  On that note…thanks, Lance.  Slainte Mhath.

Nose:  Oh wow.  Old wood…and young paint.  Lovely cask notes.  Very creamy and ‘icing sugar-ish’.  Beautiful fruits.  Pineapple, cherry, orange, mango.  Love that tropical profile.  A little bit of mint.  Whipped shortbread and flaky pie crust.  Exceptional nose.

Palate:  There’s the woods.  Oh…here come those latex notes.  It tastes a little floral, before it suddenly tranforms, chrysalis-like, blooming into all sorts of sweet soft fruits.  Oranges and tropical notes.  Very tight oak.  Not too much cask influence, which is rather surprising at this age.  Mature and sweet.  Very enticing.

* One final, and very important note…this is an extremely affordable malt, but made in very limited quantity.  Less than 100 bottles in existence, and bottled exclusively for Co-op Wines And Spirits.  For anyone so enticed at this point…be quick.  It won’t last long.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt