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Tamdhu reinvented as exclusively sherried whisky

Ian Macleod Distillers is reinventing Tamdhu single malt Scotch as an exclusively sherried whisky, with the launch of its first expression since buying the distillery in 2011.

Tamdhu 10 Year Old
Tamdhu will only feature whiskies matured in sherry casks

Tamdhu 10-year-old is the first product in the distillery’s new core range, having launched initially in the UK last week.

Aged in first and second-fill oloroso sherry casks for 10 years, using a blend of peated and unpeated barley, the whisky is described by the distillery as full of fruit, spice and toffee notes inherent to sherry-seasoned oak, with a hint of peat smoke on the finish.

The fruity sherried flavour with a hint of peat will be the inherent style of Tamdhu single malt as it continues its future under Ian Macleod, a departure from its past use of ex-Bourbon casks.

“We thought hard about what we wanted Tamdhu to be and looked carefully at the stock profile, where we found Tamdhu matured exclusively in sherry casks was where we wanted to be,” explained Neil Boyd, UK commercial director for Ian Macleod. “It’s a little bit different to what it was in its previous existence; there was never that level of specificity about its maturation.”

All Tamdhu expressions will feature whisky matured in first- and second-fill oloroso sherry hogsheads and butts. Boyd added that the exclusively sherried nature of the whisky would act as the brand’s USP going forward.

“The continuing decline of the sherry industry means that sherry casks are increasingly expensive and hard to get hold of. There aren’t many sherry matured products on the market; you might get some with a sherry finish but completely sherry-matured is not common, so it’s quite a point of difference.”

The Tamdhu branding has also been given a facelift, with a unique bottle shape and label design inspired by the Victorian era. The distillery itself – which today can produce over four million litres of alcohol a year – was originally built in 1897, and taking its cues from the famous Victorian determination, Tamdhu has adopted a new strapline – the ‘can-dhu spirit’.

Ian Macleod intends to follow up the Tamdhu 10-year-old with an older expression next year, likely a 12- or 15-year-old.

In the meantime, Tamdhu will be rolled out with an RRP of £35 in the company’s core malt markets, including continental Europe and the US.

Aside from some stop-start action during WWII, Tamdhu distillery was in continuous production up until Edrington Group mothballed the site in 2010. A year later Ian Macleod bought the disused distillery with a view to producing liquid for Tamdhu single malt as well as third party blends.

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