N: Raising the age level even higher comes an equally rare Tamdhu. Colour-wise: in-between the all-bourbon Banff & the thick dark 1972 Glen Grant, this one offers a more complex chemical makeup that speaks of murky umami, lambs lettuce, French polish, linseed oil, bees wax, echinacea, ash/soot/coal tar, dried/cured meats, a Chinese buffet, fruity miso boiled sweets, hints of confectionary chocolate bars, garage oil biscuity tones, treacle, tinned fruit syrup, cucumber [on the turn], Tokaji, garden pesticides, emulsion,… it goes on. The timestamp on these descriptors is unmistakable, old & rare personified. I was going to say ‘little these days comes close’, but in some ways, Ben Nevis fits the bill.
T: 53 years in a refill cask gives the spirit a fighting chance and provides the palate with a similar oddly concocted [Ben Nevis-esque] experience as on the nose. Despite all that cask time, the grain does still peek through, the refill sherry cask thankfully low-key. Adding water doesn’t do it any favours at first, bringing forth industrial paints, metals and plastics. Plainly it’s woody barley [no shit Sherlock!], with many murky/oily notes of curiously encroaching alongside.
F: Old rusty paint tins, dry woody [pine sap - Serge], and vanillin - though it seems less mollycoddled by the cask than the Banff. Serge says ‘What’s noticeable is that it’s extremely oaky, but also that this is one of the rare occurrences where over-oakiness became an asset because of the oak oils that leached into the whisky’.
C: As bizarre as it is unique.Scores a B