Single Malt Inspired by the Spanish Sun

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In the lead up to International Whisky Day on March 27, we look at Tamdhu, a very unique single malt whisky from the banks of the River Spey.

When we think of Scotch, we tend to think of musty old distilleries, men in flat caps who don’t talk much, loyal border collies, and wind whipping through the heather. Yet you could argue that it was the Spanish sunshine that gave birth to one of Speyside’s choicest drops.

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Ok, perhaps not the sun per se, although long have men of the British Isles longed to walk the Mediterranean coast, soak up the authentic hospitality of obliging locals, and sip Spanish wines by the wicker-bound carafe load. In actuality, it was Spain’s acclaimed Oloroso sherry casks, today exceptionally rare and sought by all whisky houses (they’re 10 times the price of ex-bourbon casks) that drew a band of late 19th century entrepreneurs to start a distillery in Speyside and create the best whisky possible, a single malt aged in the finest casts sourced from hand-picked Spanish bodegas.


It was with such boyish idealism that Tamdhu was born. The distillery’s founders received their first shipment of casks from Spain in 1898 and were soon making gorgeous whisky packed with character in a distillery on the banks of the River Spey designed by the best in the business, architect and engineer Charles C Doig ESQ.

Over a century later, Tamdhu is made the same way, with the same all-important Oloroso casks and the same passion for perfection. Today, Tamdhu is produced by Ian Macleod Distillers, who restored the original distillery to its former glory and continue to produce exclusively sherry oak-aged single malts.

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Unlike many whisky distilleries, which top up their blends or finish their whiskies in sherry casks, Tamdhu spends its whole life embraced by the unique flavours of the Oloroso, ensuring a distinctive dark amber colour, an intensity on the palate, and a deep, long finish that will have you reaching for more.

The distillery currently produces a range of whiskies, all of which would look the part in your home bar:

Tamdhu 12-Year-Old Whisky

Tamdhu 12-Year-Old Whisky

We consider this to be one of the best value 12 year old single malts around. Lovingly aged in sherry casks for 12 years, the whisky features the richness of sherry and the long, smooth finish of a fine Scotch. Look for sweet summer fruits and spice on the nose, banana, berry jam and mal biscuit on the palace and a long, oaky finish. The sexy gift presentation box also makes it a great gift for the whiskophile in your life.

Tamdhu 15-Year-Old Whisky

Tamdhu 15-Year-Old Whisky

Aged in those famed Oloroso sherry casks, this 15-year-old Tamdhu has an enhanced level of sophistication, with warm apple pie, spiced currents and orange zest on the nose, followed by a palate packed with juicy apricots, vibrant raspberries and bitter almonds.

Tamdhu Batch Strength No.4 Whisky

Tamdhu Batch Strength No.4 Whisky

The distillery’s fourth edition of its award-winning Batch Strength whisky, Tamdhu Batch Stretch No. 4 comes with a hefty 57.8% ABV, ensuring every element of the single malt’s complex flavour profile is evident. Aged in sherry oak, look for vanilla and berries, with hints of oak, spice and dried fruit keep crisp with touches of citrus.

For more Wines & Spirits inspiration click here.


About Author

Nick Walton is a Hong Kong-based photojournalist and Group Managing Editor for Artemis Communications, producers of Alpha Men Asia, JETSETTER Magazine, Explorer Magazine, The Art of Business Travel, Mirandus, IKHLAS, The Journal and The Edition.

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