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Issue 112 - Welcome back

Whisky Magazine Issue 112
June 2013


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Welcome back

A resurgent Tamdhu Distillery

Tam who?

Tamdhu. It's not a name that comes easily to mind, or trips off the lips of even a hard-core malt enthusiast. Which is a shame because this classic, late-Victorian distillery, located close to the River Spey, nearneighbour to Knockando (and, not so very far away, Cardhu and The Macallan), definitely deserves to be better known. Right now, though, its luck seems to be changing.

But we haven't in recent years heard very much about it, apart from the bad news of its closure. That's because it was, for the most part, operated by its previous owners Highland Distillers to provide Speyside malt fillings for their blends and to exchange in the market for other whisky they needed. Then they decided that their priorities had changed and decided to mothball it.

That was in April 2010. To my knowledge several potential buyers expressed an interest in taking it on. But, one by one, they dropped out: the distillery was too large for one group to operate cost-effectively and the old mothballed Saladin malting and light grains plant represented a problem; another buyer got close to the finishing line but couldn't quite raise the finance.

But, to some raised eyebrows, it was smoothly and quickly acquired in June 2011 by Ian Macleod Distillers, an independent, family-owned firm of distillers, blenders and bottlers until then best-known for reviving the Glengoyne distillery and for their Isle of Skye blend. Macleod had, of course, previously purchased Glengoyne from Highland Disti...

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