The Good Spirits Company are a Glasgow based spirits retailer who occasionally bottle limited releases of single cask scotch whisky. Their recent run of bottlings has been nothing short of spectacular with excellent drams from Glenrothes, Bunnahabhain and Laphroaig already reviewed here. So when I heard that their next bottling was to be a Tamdhu, something of a favourite of mine, I knew I had to pick one up.
A product of the industrial age, Tamdhu was founded by a group of blenders in 1897 who sought out the emminent distillery architect Charles Doig to design the facility. Doig set about creating what would later be described as the most technologially advanced distillery of it’s time in Alfred Barnard’s 1902 book The Whisky Distilleries of the United Kingdom.
Tamdhu was under the ownership of Highland Distillers (now Edrington) when the distillery was mothballed in 2010. The future must have seemed grim at the time but fortunately the situation wasn’t to last. Ian Macleod Distillers, owners of Glengoyne, stepped in just two years later in 2012 and have since rebranded and relaunched the single malt with 10 year old and limited release batch strength versions packaged in an attractive victorian style bottle.
While Tamdhu is usually aged in ex-sherry casks, here the Good Spirits have unearthed spirit matured for 9 years in ex-bourbon barrels.
Smell: A bit muted at first and needs water to open up but there’s Vanilla, Honeycomb and Spice, Apple, Lemon and Cream, Malt & even a touch of Coconut.
Taste: Lots of Spice on the palate and benefits from a splash of water though the heat remains. Oak, Caramel, Honey and Lime and maybe my imagination but a tiny hint of Smoke..?
Value for Money: Value for money seems to be high on the agenda for the folks at the Good Spirits and this is no exception. A nine year old, cask strength Tamdhu for under £50 is great value for money.
Score: 41 / 50.
It’s perhaps not as instantly lovable as the last few bottlings from the Good Spirits Co, but the more time I’ve spent with it the better I’ve got to know and enjoy it. Very different to official bottlings of Tamdhu but that’s what makes it interesting. I absolutely recommend it, though you should be prepared to give it some time.
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