Ever since I last tasted a Tamdhu from The MacPhail’s Collection, the distillery has made giant leaps. It’s now widely recognised as one of the better sherry-matured whiskies available, but back when this Tamdhu 1971 was bottled (in 2011!) that was far from the case. I even refer to it in a review from almost 9 years ago.
“Tamdhu is a fairly unknown distillery and judging by the quality of their original bottlings, that won’t change any time soon.”
That may have been a bit harsh. And maybe even a little uninformed. After all, Tamdhu had been acquired by Ian Macleod at that point. And they were clearly going to give the brand the love and care it deserved. By now they’ve proven that many times over.
Tamdhu is now a crown jewel for Ian Macleod. A marked change from when the distillery was owned by Edrington. Back then you often had to resort to the independents for quality Tamdhu. A great example is, of course, Gordon & MacPhail. The largest and arguably most influential independent bottler in existence.
They’ve bottled many a Tamdhu. Some properly old too. And thanks to the generosity of Joren we’ll be tasting this Tamdhu 1971 over a decade after it was originally bottled.
Tamdhu 1971 The MacPhail’s Collection (43%, Gordon & MacPhail, 2011)
Nose: The oak influence is very elegant and accompanied by touches of tropical fruit, some light pencil shavings and whispers of dark caramel and toffee. Certainly also apple skin, honey and ripe pears. Finally some rum raisins and macadamia nuts. Taste: A nice, somewhat fatty arrival with the oak slightly more prominent. Soft tannins and a light oaky bitterness, but also golden syrup, stewed apples and fudge. Finally nectarines and coconut shavings. Finish: Oak spices largely dictate the medium to long finish, accompanied by roasted nuts and chocolate.
Maybe slightly over the top, but this Tamdhu 1971 from the MacPhail's Collection is a venerable whisky regardless. It showcases some elements mostly reserved for whisky this age, making it a treat to taste, no matter the oak being a tad too present at times. Cheers to Joren for sharing!