Since 1990s the Tamdhu Distillery (pronounced Tam-Doo) has only filled its whiskies into sherry casks, giving its single malts distinctive notes of cherry, dried fruit and spice. Its first official release on re-opening was the much-praised Tamdhu 10 Year Old, followed by a series of more intense ‘batch strength’ bottlings.
Tamdhu, located on the banks of the River Spey, was founded in 1897 by a consortium of whisky professionals, chief of which was William Grant. Designed by famed distillery architect Charles Doig, the distillery was praised as ‘perhaps the most efficient and designed distillery of its era’ by Alfred Barnard, creator of Whisky Distilleries of the UK (1898). One of the distillery’s other distinctions was securing a spur of the Strathspey Railway, giving the distillery its own branch line.
During the 1970s, when the distillery was still owned by Highland Distillers, Tamdhu increased its number of stills from two to six, creating a production capacity that is now around 4 million litres a year.
In 2010 the Edrington Group, who had taken over Highland Distillers in 1999, closed the Tamdhu distillery. Just two years later, however, it was purchased and re-opened by Ian Macleod distillers, who are still at the helm today.
Character and Style of Tamdhu
- Fruit Cake
- Dried Fruit
Although much of its spirit is used in blends, Tamdhu also now release their own single malts, and older examples can be found from independent bottlers such as Gordon & Macphail. The distillery’s house style is described by Michael Jackson as ‘Mild, urbane. Sometimes toffee-nosed. Versatile.’