Tamnavulin 2000 Vintage

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A 2000 vintage from Tamnavulin? But wasn’t it closed between 1995 and 2007? You are indeed correct, well-learned reader. The distillery was mothballed for the vast majority of that period, however the stills were fired up for a brief 5 week stint in the spring of 2000, and some of the spirit produced during that short time has now been bottled. This Tamnavulin 2000 vintage isn’t the first you might have seen, however, as a Taiwan Exclusive was released last year. This one, however, is available in the UK and has been matured for 18 years in a combination of bourbon casks and Amoroso sherry casks. I tasted it last week as part of the #WhyteChristmas Tweet Tasting hosted by The Whisky Wire, and here’s what I made of it.

Tamnavulin 2000 Vintage
18 years old
Bourbon & Amoroso casks
45% ABV
£120 here

Nose: Toasted currants, burnt Xmas cake edges, thick cut marmalade, blood orange, hot cross buns, cinder toffee, and sweet glazed nuts underpinned with a whack of tannic spice – cinnamon, clove, cracked black peppercorns.

Palate: Praline, caramelised walnut, caramel barrels, juicy sultanas, cooked apple with cinnamon. rum ‘n’ raisin ice cream, butterscotch, gentle rolling oak. Those spices have been tamed, somewhat.

Finish: Rather honeyed, with stewed apples, toasted vanilla pods and cask stave.

Overall: A juicy, spicy, and more robust whisky than I was expecting, especially on the nose. Those big baking spice notes really give the impression that the whisky’s going to be brutally hot on the palate, but things calm down nicely and allow more of the fruits and sweetness to come through. To taste whisky created during those five precious weeks in the year 2000 is a real pleasure, and although the price is very much on the high side for an 18yo, you can be sure there’s very little of this about.




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