Already immortalized in song, this remarkable 1969 whisky deserves an anthem that captures the mood of those enjoying it. Believe me, after a few sips of this Tamdhu expression, you won’t even care whether the moon landing was staged or not. The nose recalls an orchid corsage dipped in white chocolate fondue and placed on a fan of granny smith apple slices. Remarkably thin and delicate, like tiny woodland fairies sleeping on Lamb’s Ear. But then, like Hayata depressing the beta capsule and transforming into Ultraman, there is a dramatic transformation. In fact, it is nothing less than explosive, like a piano chord struck across four octaves by a truculent Vishnu, or the end of “Day in a Life” performed by several marching bands crammed into a Knights of Columbus meeting hall. Here the notes come fast and linger, the sustain pedal worked furiously by an instructor whose prodigy is too short to reach them herself: ostrich medallions and fiddleheads sautéed in ghee; licks of canola oil off a titanium wristwatch; orecchiette pasta with quince, beets, and pine bubbles; fallen Kousa dogwood berries in a mephitic riot of decay; pistachio butter on rosewater-soaked saltines. This Tamdhu is as fresh and thrilling and memorable as a game of buzkashi played not with a headless goat carcass but with a giant squid, and not on the steppes of central Asia but on the dew-soaked greens of the 16th hole at the Augusta National Golf Club.
The Tamdhu 1969-2004 is Screaming Yellow Zonkers–Not as iconic as Cracker Jacks, to be sure, but for those in the know there was nothing beating it, and its loss is to be mourned.