Gordon & Macphail bottle a number of young single malts under their Collection moniker. I've previously tried the Highland Park, which made me interested to try some of the others. I got a chance the last time I swung by the Highland Stillhouse for a drink.
G&M purchases new make spirit directly from the distillery. This version was made from whisky aged exclusively in refill sherry casks for at least 8 years, then bottled at 43%. No word on chill filtration or color, so I'm going to guess that both are in use here. This expression has been reformulated recently and is now a mix of refill bourbon and sherry casks.
G&M Collection Tamdhu 8 Year
Nose: burnt sugar and orange peel, sherry, malty, vanilla, light apple notes. After adding a few drops of water, the burnt sugar becomes maple syrup, the sherry tucks inside, and it becomes grainier and more vegetal.
Taste: sweet & sour throughout, lots of creamy malt mixed with sherry and wood at the back, bourbon barrel fruit. After dilution, there is more malt sweetness, the sourness tones down, it is more grain-focused with less sherry and oak, it feels younger, and some citrus notes show up.
Finish: kind of green, malt, mild oak, sherry residue
This is a malt with no pretensions of being anything other than what it is: a moderately sherried, young Speysider at a price that positions it to compete with blends. There's little in the way of complexity and its youth still shows, but there's nothing off-putting about it either. If you're a blend drinker looking to move into single malts or a single malt drinker looking for something that isn't such a hit to the wallet, I would highly recommend grabbing a bottle.
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