Tamnavulin is a little known distillery in the Speyside region of Scotland. The distillery at Tamnavulin ('mill on the hill' in Gaelic) was opened in 1966, making it one of Scotland's youngest distilleries. It was built to deal with the increased demand for blending whisky but fell on hard times and was closed in 1995. Drinks company Whyte & Mackay took over the distillery and re-opened it in 2007. The distillery has a large capacity of 4 million litres a year and is situated in the famous Livet Glen. It has two more famous neighbours in the glen - Tomintoul and Glenlivet - and is the only distillery that is actually on the banks of the River Livet. Bottlings from Tamnavulin are restricted by the recent lack of production. There is currently only this one distillery release of 12 years old and independent bottlings are available but few and far between.
The colour is pale and lemony and the nose is fresh and simple yet aromatic. There is some gorgeous vanilla, lots of malted barley and something grassy and herbal (imagine hay or straw). On the palate, this is very light, smooth and refreshing with those vanilla, barley and herbal notes present again. These are joined by some other fresh fruit elements (think of white grapes especially) and a citrusy zing (imagine lemon zest). The finish is short, light and quite dry with just a hint of earthiness right at the end. This is a light and refreshing whisky that is quite basic yet extremely enjoyable. It would be great as an aperitif whisky or to introduce someone to whisky. This is hard to find and is limited to just a few specialist retailers and should cost between £30-35 a bottle.