Years ago, before my whiskey budget is what it is now, right after Jon, Mark & Robbo went out of business, Tamdhu 10 year old was one of my go to affordable single malts. Tamdhu was not especially well known back then, as most of their stocks ended up being blended into the Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark, and J&B. I thought it was a pretty good single malt, aged in ex-bourbon casks.
Tamdhu got new owners in 2011 or so and reinvigorated the brand, releasing single malt scotches aged in used sherry casks that are very good. However, the ex-bourbon cask single malt scotch was gone.
Or so I thought. Until I got an email from Flaviar, an online whiskey club to which I subscribe. I could buy their own bottling of 18 year old Tamdhu cask strength single cask for $150, provided that I won this lottery thing. Well, I won and the bottle arrived today.
You can tell by the color this is the stuff aged in used bourbon casks. From what I have read, Tamdhu uses hogsheads, where they disassemble bourbon casks and create barrels that are double or triple the normal size. Considering that copper wire was created by two Scots fighting over a penny, you get the drift where hogsheads came from.
Nose is classic Speyside single malt; citrus fruit and barley with a hint of sweetness. Oily short legs that despite it being over 100 Proof shows that some alcohol as well as water evaporated over the 18 years of aging. The palate is rich, thick, lemony, liqueur like, with a sweet lingering finish. Has qualities of a brandy but the flavors are 100% scotch. Absolutely delightful.
This whisky really shows off what extended maturation in ex-bourbon casks can do for single malt scotch. Most of the older stuff spends some time in sherry casks, which are fine, but I really wish there were more scotches out there like this Tamdhu bottling.
Really a delight.