Thanks to /u/kinohead for the sample
So there I am, like any older Millennial, owning a smart phone just so I can talk to my friends using 12 different apps. And one of them pops up.
It’s Kinohead. Yes, I know his real name, however we’ll keep him as his reddit name for now, just incase he’s actually wanting to keep his anonymity. Remember what that is? That thing that keeps you from losing your life based on a single mistake you’ve made? Yeah, that.
And he asks me “You ever had a Tamnavulin?”
Of course, being the introverted pervert that I am, I assume this involves three people, a trombone, and perhaps some coffee scented oil. Maybe some drugs before hand. And of course, light stretching.
“No, it’s a whisky. A Scotch. What the fuck is wrong with you?”
So I immediately go to my whiskies, and find out it’s quite difficult to figure out based on the list. This leads me to spending about two hours of my time creating something in my whisky review spreadsheet so that I can keep track of how many Scotches of each distillery I have ever reviewed.
Sorry ladies and gentleman, I’m already taken. These spreadsheet skills have a ring on them.
At the end of all of this, we determine that no, I have not had a Tamnavulin. Or an Arbikie. Or a Kingsbarns. However the important one is that I haven’t had a Tamnavulin. And thus I must swap him, lest my amazing background of being a gentleman of the highest repute (who makes horrible crass jokes) be hurt in some way.
Tamnavulin has six stills that are all used, either stainless steel washbacks, and a Saladin box all helping to make four million litres of alcohol a year. And all of that was closed until July 2007, when it was started back up and aged to go into blends like Mackinlay, Whyte & Mackay, and Crawfords.
Oh, and they do release their own single malt as well now, for the first time in two decades.
Tamnavulin 22 1992 Small Batch Cadenhead’s was made before Whyte & Mackay bought them. So we’re looking into the past on this one. The current may taste like it, it may not. I for one don’t know.
I do know that kinohead knows how to sell a whisky, and am excited to try this. So let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Distillation Date: 1992
Bottling Date: 2014
Number of bottles: 432
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Canned pear, cardamon, peaches, algae, lemon, earth
Alright this smells like wine. I’m not going to beat around the bush like I did at the start: You have pear, lemon, earth, and spice.
Yes, the algae greenery sticks out here more than, say, a Sauvignon Blanc. That said, it’s nosing like a white wine. Which is odd.
Taste: Candy corn, lemon drops, cinnamon, light honey, tea
Sweet, with more acidity then before. If the nose was confusing me into thinking this was a wine, the taste makes me think I’ve added too much lemon and honey to my tea.
You know, the tea I have with the girls down at the home. Cause I’m an old person. You judgemental people, you gotta open your minds.
Finish: Earth, vitamin C tablet, cloves, cream of mushroom soup, tea, key lime
Finish has some interesting elements. Part of it reminds me of bourbons I’ve had. Ones with that vitamin tastes. Then there’s spice, well developed earth, and tannic notes.
I have to say, this takes everything from the nose and everything from the taste and just throws it in your face, leaving you with little dignity and some loose change. I think I like it.
Conclusion: Wine drinkers whisky. Easily. The nose is the perfect way to get someone who likes white wine into a whisky.
The taste is a little too simple and sweet for me. I wanted more. Granted maybe the makers of this whisky don’t, as they only want specific flavours for the blends. You drink it for the finish.
The finish is where you get discombobulated. It’s wacky, odd, complex, tannic… Quite unique. And what makes me happy to have tried this.
Scotch review #753, Speyside review #213, Whisky Network review #1243