Tamdhu makes no bones about tapping into the Scottish ingenuity found prominently in the Enlightenment. Built in 1898 by a consortium of Scottish whisky traders, the distillery lays along the River Spey with the stated aim of producing the finest whisky possible. At least until it closed in 2010. With a resurgence of whisky in full swing, however, the site didn’t remain stagnant for long and was purchased in 2011 by Ian Macleod Distillers to be reborn in 2013 with the same Can-Dhu spirit (trust us, they make use of this wordplay too). Being so new, in a sense, the distillery only has three main offerings, with this 10 year being the flagship.
John Glaser and Compass Box have been pushing the bounds of scotch since the beginning, often winning awards and angering conglomerates along the way. One of their long staples (Signature Range) has been the Peat Monster. This monster is, despite the name, not built to overwhelm with peat or smoke. Rather, the stated purpose is to take those Islay elements and enrich them with fruits and malt. In other words, to create something that is far more than a two-dimensional scotch. There is also a 2013 release of a 10th anniversary edition of the Peat Monster we hope to try in the future.
Benromach is a distillery that wants to take you back a stretch. Back before distilleries and whisky production became so automated, so dependent on technology. Eschewing computerized processes (do they allow pocket calculators?), this distillery looks to the early 20th century for guidance, when Speyside whiskies were made using peat smoke on site and everything was done by hand. In these days of spirit conglomerates, special attention is given to the artistry provided by the three distillers working at Benromach. It is a whisky that promotes the traditions of scotch production and promises to reward the patience needed.