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Tamdhu - Batch Strength releases 1, 2 & 3

Batch releases 1, 2 & 3 - head-to-head-to-head

Review by Sean Russell, November 2018

Batch #1 - 58.8%

Appearance: Medium amber. Fast oily legs

Nose: A distinctive cherry element with a gentle hit of polish. Sherry is most definitely there with a light nuttiness (hazelnut). And then there’s a clear whiff of “Lotus Biscoff bicuit” – the caramelised biscuits you sometimes get with a coffee. That’s a great sweet treat on the nose. And now something even more unexpected: the beach. A sort of sea-spray and sea-air element. This one has a more older and a more refined nose than the other two batch releases.

Palate: Classic sherry sweetness with some oil. Given its strength, there’s a fair amount of pepper that dances around the tongue. As expected from the nose, a sweet toffee element is there (think old-style 10p Highland Toffee in the white plastic wrappers) There’s a bold sherry influence that comes to the fore with another sip. Raisins and more spritely sherry.

Finish: Medium-long. Sweetness from the sherry casks happily shares space with a tart tannin bitterness. Lots of sherry linger on the tongue.

Water adds… An increase of fruit on the nose. On the palate, the sweetness is notched-down and the spirit is more relaxed and well behaved. The finish is fabulous, with more length and oil.

Batch #2 - 58.5%

Appearance: Medium amber. Fast oily legs

Nose: Sweetness of sherry immediately meets the nose along with some malted cereal. The sweetness comes back with more sherry/dessert wine. It is quite spirity though, and that heat does jump at the nostrils. Sweetness comes back and it takes on a sour berry element.

Palate: Sweet & tart with lots of crackling heat – but again, it’s a high ABV so I’d expect an alcohol kick. Once the heat shimmies over, it allows a more creamy & oily delivery with a woody dryness. Coco/dark chocolate bitterness is there, along with some spice – maybe cinnamon? There’s a faint roasted coffee bean-bite too.

Finish: Medium-long. This one appears to be the “hottest” of the three at a whopping 58.3% sucker punch, and the chilli crackle does boldly stud the tongue.

Water adds… More of a fruity sherry on the nose. The palate is drier with more influence of woody-tannins. And whilst the pepper kick is definitely not going away, it is tamed. The finish delivers more dryness.

Batch #3 - 58.3%

Appearance: Medium amber. Fast oily legs

Nose: Biggest caramel hit to the nose and most “toffee-influence” of the three bottles in the line-up. Grapes and sherry are there with soft doughy bread and red berries. A sour-fruitiness is also apparent, such as unripe plum or greengage. This one smells younger and livelier than batches #1 & #2.

Palate: More restrained and medium sweetness than expected with a more balanced heat from the spirit. There is a dryness, but it’s in harmony with the sherry influence. Lots of caramel on the palate as well – more than the previous batches. This is the easiest to drink neat, and is easier on the palate with less spirit-kick. Which is surprising based on the nose.

Finish: Medium-long with a quite a dry finish. The spirit does coat the tongue with a peppery tickle, but the sherry is there to offer some balanced sweetness.

Water adds… Even more caramel on the nose. The dryness on the palate is still there, but now there’s more oil. The finish is oilier, with softer tannins.

Overall conclusion of all three Batch Strength bottles…

There is an incredible amount of consistency across Tamdhu’s Batch Strength bottles. That alone deserves some plaudits and consideration. For me, Batch #1 had the best nose and more depth.

All three whiskies were poured into their glasses and left to rest for 15 minutes.



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