Speyside week comes to a close with another refill hogshead bottled for K&L in California. This is a Tamdhu and it is two years older than Wednesday’s Linkwood. You may recall that I quite liked that Linkwood and also Monday’s 10 year old Dailuaine (that one from a sherry cask). Will the oldest of the trio be at least as good as the one half its age? There are no guarantees but I did like the last Tamdhu 20 I reviewed—that one was also bottled by Old Malt Cask (for their own 20th anniversary). And I did also like the last K&L Tamdhu of similar age that I reviewed, that one a 19 yo. Anyway, let’s get to it.
Tamdhu 20, 2000 (52%; OMC for K&L; refill hogshead; from a bottle split)
Nose: Cereals, toasted oak and some sweet fruit—citrus at first but then some cherry joins in as well. As it sits the oak expands quite a bit, making me a bit apprehensive about the palate…On the plus side the cereals get more malted and the fruit turns a bit muskier (somewhere between apple and pear). With more time still the oak recedes again. Water pushes the oak back further and pulls out some cream.
Palate: The citrus leads here with the oak giving it support—thankfully, not overbearing as I’d feared it might be. A decent bite at full strength and good texture. More oak on the second sip and more sweet fruit—somewhat indistinct here. It’s also more spirity. And the oak keeps building with each sip. Let’s see if water pushes it back and brings out anything new. Yes, it pushes it back a little and pulls out some lime.
Finish: Medium-long. The oak expands here, getting a little resinous; it’s joined by the spirity notes that show up on the palate. As on the palate with water.
Comments: I quite liked the nose but there’s nothing very interesting happening on the palate. The oak gets too talkative there neat and while water improves things it remains in the drinkable but entirely unremarkable band.
Rating: 82 points.
Thanks for the review. I don’t recall specifically what I disliked about the (unspecified) Tamdhu I tried a few years ago; only that I didn’t care for it. The repetition of the word “oak” in your review, however, might be a clue to me as I don’t care for heavily-oaked anything (spirits, wine, etc.). Maybe worth another sip if a friend has a bottle in his/her bar, just to see if it is the oak.