Tamdhu

Situated at Knockando in the center of the Speyside the Tamdhu Distillery managed to survive difficult years of economical ups and downs. This is due to the status of Tamdhu whisky as a reliable component in the blends of the Highland Distillers for years. It always was “The Can-Dhu-Spirit”. Since 2011 the distillery belongs to Ian Macleod Distillers who meanwhile started a revival of the...

Information about the Distillery
48 Bottles
Scotland, Speyside
-3.353561 57.459423
Active
Ian MacLeod
3 x 17,000 l
Pear
1 x 22,000 l
2 x 16,000 l
Normal
9 x 60,000 l
11 t
1896
Average Tasting Notes Calculated from 32 Tasting Notes
Nosing
Sherry
Vanilla
Sweet
Almonds
Cinnamon
Fruit
Oak
Raisin
Caramel
Berries
Spices
Nuts
Peat Smoke
Grape
Peach
Grapefruit
Alcohol
Chocolate
Malt
Apple
Orange
Leather
Green Apple
Honey
Cake
Tasting
Sherry
Fruit
Spices
Oak
Sweet
Peat Smoke
Orange
Caramel
Oil
Vanilla
Chocolate
Malt
Dark Chocolate
Honey
Berries
Dried Fruit
Nuts
Raisin
Heather
Pepper
Ginger
Pear
Almonds
Cinnamon
Alcohol
Chili
Finish
Fruit
Vanilla
Oil
Malt
Oak
Sherry
Peat Smoke
Pepper
Almonds
Dried Fruit
Coffee
Raisin
Dark Chocolate
Alcohol
Chili
Sweet
Details about the Distillery

The Whisky

4 May 2013 was an important day for Tamdhu Whisky - let’s call it historic. The new owners Ian Macleod launched their first malt since the re-opening of the distillery during the famous Speyside Festival.  Of course the present releases are based on whisky that was produced before the takeover but it always is important what you make out of the stock you have in your warehouses. And Ian Macleod Distillers seem to make a good job.

The character of the Tamdhu Single Malt Whisky is formed by the clear water directly taken from the Tamdhu spring, the pot stills with their broad shape and of course by the use of sherry casks for maturation. The result is a very gentle, smooth and slight oily Speyside whisky with aromas of caramel, apple, vanilla, almonds, dark chocolate and citrus as well as dried fruits.

The flagship of Tamdhu Distillery is the Tamdhu 10 years old; a very fine Sherry cask matured sweet and smooth entry-level Speysider.

Confirmed malt fans will probably love the Tamdhu Batch Strength which is bottled in natural strenght of the respective batch. It is un-chillfiltered and of natural color. Sherry, red berries, nuts, dry fruits, crème brulée - the Tamdhu Batch Strength presents rich aromas and a smooth character.

The entrance of the Tamdhu Distillery.

Production

When Tamdhu was built it was one of the most pioneering distilleries the Speyside saw to that time. The architect that was hired for planning and building, Charles C Doig, was not only an architect but also an engineer. The kilns were designed to reduce heat loss and their waste was at that time pumped to the nearby railway station by an Archimedean Screw for further use. 

Innovative equipment that was distinguishing for Tamdhu since a rebuilding of the distillery in 1950 were the saladin boxes. They replaced the common malting floors and Tamdhu didn’t only produce its own malt there but also supplied other distilleries. Their capacity was 14.000 tonnes per year. The saladin boxes are still there and could probably be re-activated in a short time, but when Ian Macleod Distillers restarted they decided not to use them.

In 2015 the total production of Tamdhu Distillery was about 2.5 million liters of alcohol.

Exterior view of the Tamdhu Distillery.

The Mashing

The semi-lauter mashtun of Tamdhu Distillery has a capacity of 11.85 tonnes and it’s already more than 55 years old.

The Fermentation

Nine washbacks, made of Oregon pine, wait in Tamdhu’s tun room to be filled with sweet water and yeast to start fermentation. This tun room has got very high ceilings and large windows and walls and ceilings are painted in yellow and white colors so that the room appears to be very lightly and bright.

The wash backs of the Tamdhu Distillery.

The Pot Stills

Distillation at Tamdhu Distillery is done in three pairs of stills.  Three wash stills and three pot stills stand in a row. They were increased from two to four in 1972. Two more followed in 1975.

The pot stills of the Tamdhu Distillery.

Warehouses

On site of the Tamdhu Distillery there are several warehouses. Four dunnage warehouses, 1 racked warehouse and 5 palletized warehouses host the stock of Tamdhu whisky including the eldest cask dated back to 1961. Tamdhu is expanding and will accomplish some more warehouses in 2016. 

Most casks you will find at Tamdhu will be ex-sherry casks because these are the casks that give Tamdhu Whisky its unique character.

Some warehouses of the Tamdhu Distillery.

The History

When in 1896 a consortium of merchands and whisky blenders (among them the famous William Grant) formed the Tamdhu Distillery Company the whisky boom was at its peak. They hired Charles Doig as the architect of their modern and advanced distillery and in July 1897 the first cask was filled. 

Only two year after the founding Tamdhu Distillery had financial problems and was sold to Highland Distillers. Times of closings and reopenings followed: Tamdhu was mothballed between 1911 and 1913, between 1928 and 1948 and between 2009 and 2012. 

The Edrington Group that had taken over Highland Distillers in 1999 sold the Tamdhu Distillery and all stocks to Ian Macleod Distillers in 2011. They decided to reopen the still fully operative distillery and recreate the Tamdhu brand. They decided not to use the old in-house maltings with their Saladin boxes but to buy malt from extern producers.  

A remarkable date that should be mentioned was 1 December 2014 when Sandy Coutts retired after having worked here at Tamdhu for 40 years. He started 1970 working at the maltings, then as a brewer and ended up as Distillery Manager. Another Sandy has now taken his place: Sandy McIntyre, former worked at several Diageo distilleries, joined the Tamdhu team as the new Distillery Manager.

Visitor Center

There’s no visitor center at Tamdhu in the moment. There used to be a shop and visitor center in the Old Knockando Station but it’s not open any more. 

There are distillery tours offered as a part of the Speyside Festival program in spring but you have to be quick and book them in advance.

The visitor center of the Tamdhu Distillery.

Chronological rating history

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