Another week, another K&L exclusive. This here is a 19 year old whisky from another distillery I haven’t had a lot of; again because there hasn’t always been such a huge amount of its malt out there, certainly not in the US. I’m one of the few people who enjoyed the old Tamdhu 10 from 10-12 years ago but haven’t followed it since it got the Coke bottle-style redesign. Actually, I just looked up the official website and it appears the current 10 year old is a limited edition being sold for the very reasonable price of £120. For reference, the old 10 yo used to be available <$30. (In fact, as I think about it I may still have a bottle of the old 10 yo—perhaps I’ll open it next month.) The regular lineup now includes a 12 yo and a 15 yo plus a couple of NAS releases. If you have tried any of these please write in below to let me know if I’m missing an experience I shouldn’t miss. Meanwhile. I have reviewed a few indie Tamdhus of this approximate age before (see here and here for the two most recent). In fact the last one I reviewed was also in the Old Malt Cask line—part of the release commemorating the 20th anniversary of the label—and I quite liked it. Will this be as good or better? I hope so. Let’s see.
Tamdhu 19, 1998 (50.3%; OMC for K&L; refill hogshead; from a bottle split)
Nose: A mellow mix of honey, toasted oak and cereals. As it sits there are floral notes mixed with some vanilla-cream. Water brings out musky fruit here as well along with a bit of sweet pastry crust.
Palate: Leads with the sweeter florals mixed in with some musky fruit. A perfect drinking strength. Maltier on the second sip and there’s some over-ripe pear as well. Not much change with time; okay, let’s add water. A few drops of water bring out some acid (lemon peel), a bit of that toasted oak from the nose and some wax.
Finish: Medium-long. The fruit transitions into prickly, tingly oak. Longer and generally as on the palate with water.
Comments: This is a dangerously drinkable, extremely pleasant malt. Not particularly complex but, as I’ve said before, they don’t all need to be. This is an excellent session malt that could almost work as a dessert whisky; indeed my only caveat is that it is perhaps just a shade closer to “too sweet” than I would like (though water fixes that). $80 for this is a good price.
Rating: 86 points.