It was in 1863 that the Strathspey railway first graced Speysideâ€™s locality. A dependable means of travel was, at last, brought to the area and several distilleries were built as a result. Tamdhu was one of them; founded in 1896 by a group of whisky blenders, including William Grant and Sons among others, and designed by the famed, prolific Speyside distillery architect, Charles Doig of Elgin.
The distillery is of good size; her six stills have a total capacity of four million litres annually, though at present Tamdhu runs at three quarters of this. Tamdhu installed a substantial Saladin box malting system in 1950. One of but a handful of distilleries with onsite maltings and the only one still using a Saladin box, Tamdhu produces all of its own malt as well as enough to supply other distilleries in the Edrington group, notably the Glenrothes distillery. Tamdhu lies on the banks of the mighty River Spey, not far from Knockando. The Knockando distillery's ancient railway station has since been converted into the Tamdhu visitor centre.
Tamdhu 15yo has spent is maturation in oloroso sherry casks, resulting in generous helpings of dark fruit and Christmas spice. It is bottled at 46%, with natural colour and without chill filtration.
Nose: Charred pineapple, earthy barley and a hearty slice of dense fruitcake, then some toasty oak warmth, orange zest and fennel.
Palate: Still packing heavy dried fruit notes, with a hint of orange oil and dried apricots cutting through. Earthy vanilla appears later on with touches of cedar, leather and cinnamon.
Finish: Warm and sweet, with waxy peels, clove, chocolate ice-cream and oily walnut.