I first tried the Tamnavulin single malt Scotch whisky from the Speyside region on a trip to Scotland last autumn. I saw it on the shelf in a pub, and I was intrigued because I’d never heard of it. So I ordered a dram, and I really enjoyed it. I was delighted when I found it at my local retailer recently. I compared it side-by-side with Aberlour 16-year Double Cask Matured (Sherry Oak), another Speyside whisky which is one of my favorites. I think it held up very well. The color is a slightly reddish amber, as you might expect from being aged in Cabernet Sauvignon casks - from America, no less! I couldn’t honestly say I can taste any wine-specific notes, but it is noticeably redder than the Aberlour 16. On the nose, the Tamnavulin gives me a mild and pleasant hint of burnt orange peel. (No, I did not taste it as part of an Old Fashioned, but I probably will.) On the tongue, I taste mild black pepper and a very slight hint of anise. That licorice-like note is not something I find very often in any whisky, but it works very well in this scotch. It’s probably one of the reasons I find this one so novel and enjoyable. The mouthfeel is very slightly oily, as a good whisky should be (IMO). And on the finish, I get long, lingering notes of some kind of baking spices, perhaps nutmeg or ginger. It’s bottled at 40% ABV, and I don’t see any age statement. Overall, a really well-made whisky that is unusual yet approachable, and it seems like a good value to me.

Posted by MikeC at 2024-01-12 23:38:07 UTC