What’s in a name? Double casking…

My friend Tom van Engelen has written another one of his posts comparing whiskies that should never be compared.


Does a name really influence your experience of a whisky? I am not well acquainted with all those Viking expressions from Highland Park, but is drinking a HP Thor (does it exist?) better than a HP Loki? Maybe for Marvel geeks, but not for me. I am only interested in the liquid inside. For good whisky you more often turn to independent bottlers, maybe, but I am always curious about official expressions too. So when Tamnavulin, a true gem in the whisky industry I suppose, put out a new official bottling, I just had to try it for myself.

Tamnavulin Double Cask

Even if this would be a 90 points whisky I would deduct 10 points for the sadly uninspiring name for this expression. Also, 40 percent? What’s the purpose? You’re better off buying a more transparent whisky, like a Glenfiddich 12 years old. But let’s discover the liquid inside the bottle:

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Image from Whiskybase

Sniff:
The sherry finish did its job, that’s for sure. Nice deep raisins. Hints of the inside of an old cigar box. It is remarkably deep and layered.

Sip:
A weak whisky, unsurprisingly, but not without attraction. The grassy freshness I still remember from the previous flagship expression is still there but now wrapped in this cigar leaf. This at 46 percent would have been really punchy.

Swallow:
The finish is actually the part I like most about this malt. It’s sharp and with enough bite to make this whisky very acceptable. Good, active wood, modern taste but well-constructed. Just good.

79/100

I just can’t grasp why a producer would dilute such a decent malt. It’s probably
around 10 years old and at anything higher than 40 percent would be the way to go.
The loosely handled theme of this session was ‘irregular whisky you don’t taste every day’.

Tamnavulin is a rare one. I dipped into the sample drawer and found something unusual to finish this session.


Teaninich 1973 – 39 years old

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Image from Whiskybase

Bottled at the age of 39 years at just 40,1 percent, we will keep it modest today when it comes to ABV. Teaninich is not often bottled but still you can find expressions if you really want to. This bourbon cask (#6068) was filled in 1973.

Sniff:
Dry, yellow fruit. It’s fresh and soft, really going into the tropical department. Candy sellers at the carnival would love this. Really an autumn whisky, so with all this rain beating against my window a good dram!

Sip:
Oh my, surprisingly bitter! It does feel very pliant, good balance. Water makes it more fresh.

Swallow:
A perfect candidate for a daily dram. The only thing it misses is a little punch. But this dram delivers what it promises on the nose.

86/100

Good stuff!


About Tom van Engelen

tomI’m a writer in a variety of fields and have a soft spot for whisky, mainly malt, mainly from Scotland. In other times I enjoyed a stint as editor-in-chief of one of the first whisky magazines in the world. When not sipping a good glass I like to write some more, read, watch 007 movies or listen Bowie music. I’m engaged to Dasha, I have a sweet daughter and I live somewhere between the big rivers in the middle of The Netherlands.

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About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm a web developer at Emakina. I'm highly interested in booze, with a focus on whisk(e)y. I like to listen to loads of music and read quite some books. I'm married to Anneke, have a daughter Ot, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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