Review: Single Cask Nation Tamdhu 10, Port Charlotte 14, and Glenfarclas 9

Review: Single Cask Nation Tamdhu 10, Port Charlotte 14, and Glenfarclas 9

In 2017, independent bottler Single Cask Nation launched a U.S.-only retail line. The move into retail-only offerings complemented the existing line of bottles available exclusively to members through their website. While Drinkhacker has already reviewed two different outturns of retail-only bottles (see here and here), we hadn’t yet explored the members-only, online offerings. Until now…

Single Cask Nation Tamdhu 10 Years Old – Aged 10 years in a first-fill bourbon barrel and finished for 8 months in a rye quarter cask, this is a truly unique single malt. On the nose, I get some of the classic Tamdhu earthiness with sweet, creamy malts, tree nuts, and leather. There’s also a lot of the rye cask influence in the aroma, with sandalwood, ripe citrus and cherry notes, candied ginger, and cracked Tellicherry peppercorns. The palate is lightweight but still honeyed, with sweet cereals, white peach, clove, and ginger. The medium-length finish is slightly drying with toasted wood and some pipe tobacco, with a gentle reprise of the initial spice which turns greener, almost jalapeno. An intriguing Speyside dram. 114.2 proof. B+ / $100

Single Cask Nation Port Charlotte 14 Years Old – This selection was distilled at Bruichladdich and aged in a first-fill Oloroso sherry hogshead for 14 years. The color alone, like prune juice, tells you that this one is going to have a ton of sherry influence. The nose is brooding with incredible complexity. Notes of juicy raisin, overripe blackberry, chimney soot, campfire smoke, and humid ocean air all find exceptional balance. While it’s clearly an Islay whisky, the smoky brine and medicinal notes are folded perfectly into the fruit and oak. The same balance emerges on the palate with an initial burst of hearth-roasted red berries, cinnamon stick, candied walnuts, and maple charcoal. The mid-palate is a study in the integration of sweet and savory with notes of salted pork belly, fig jam, and bonfire-blackened marshmallows. The finish is long with sweet smoke, salted caramel, spice cabinet, and a bit of cherry throat lozenge. Terrific stuff. 120.4 proof. A / $110

Single Cask Nation Glenfarclas 9 Years Old – Technically dubbed a “Double” Cask Nation bottle because this release is a marriage of two 9-year-old casks: one first-fill oloroso hogshead and one second-fill oloroso hogshead. The nose is rich with creamy butterscotch and caramel apple but also some brighter notes: lemon biscuit, clover honey, and a little ripe raspberry. The palate is oily with an easy spice. The flavors are classic Glenfarclas — toasted grain, almond, and citrus — but dialed up a notch. I get layers of hazelnut and clove-studded orange, candied ginger and black tea, cocktail cherries, Newtons, and cinnamon scones. The finish lingers with orange marmalade, almond brittle, and a bit of chocolate. While similar in age and proof to Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength, the Single Cask Nation bottling is a little less syrupy on the palate but shows more vibrancy and complexity. 119 proof. A- / $110

It doesn’t take much to become a member of “the Nation” (no fees, just your contact info), and who doesn’t like whisky shopping from the comfort of their own home, or toilet, or wherever you bring the interwebs with you. The flat $10 rate for shipping (any amount!) is a small price to pay for the convenience, but keep an eye out for new releases online because these bottles go fast. I had to stalk the website like they were selling U2 tickets. Cheers!

Single Cask Nation Port Charlotte 14 Years Old




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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