Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

"If it's not good enough to drink slowly, then it's not worth drinking"

Four single malts from Tomatin

 5 May 2010  

Tomatin (pronounced to rhyme with "satin") lies in the village of the same name a little south of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. By production capacity, it's one of the largest dis­til­leries in Scotland, although the current rate of production is only a fraction of its potential.

Most of the Tomatin single malt goes into blends - Antiquary and Talisman that I know of - and it's fairly unknown as a single. (Until now, the only official bottling I had tried was a lack-lustre 10 y.o.)

The owners have re­cently started marketing Tomatin more actively and they have also released sev­eral new ex­pres­sions. At the Limburg whisky fair I tasted four official bottlings, as well as an older whisky from Duncan Taylor:

Tomatin 15 y.o. 43%: (100% bourbon wood)
Nice nose with apricot, orange, vanilla and oak. Rich, fruity, fairly oaky palate with apricot marmalade. Un­for­tu­nately the oak and the fruits don't fully agree. Nice, oaky finish (needed a drop of water because of the weak nose and slightly hot palate). (83 p)

Tomatin 18 y.o. 46%: (bourbon wood, Oloroso sherry finished)
Nice, complex nose with gin­ger­bread, caramelized sugar, orange and a nice note of oak. Rich yet dry palate with sherry fruits, oak and notes of honey and mint (too dry and oaky without water but nice with a few drops). (84 p)

Tomatin 21 y.o. 52%: (a vatting of six bourbon casks and one sherry butt)
Nice yet quiet nose with honey and gin­ger­bread. Complex, rather nice palate with honey and gin­ger­bread again, also white pepper, orange marmalade and a little oak. Oaky, spicy finish (perhaps a little too oaky). (87 p)

Tomatin 1995 cask 8510 12 y.o. 58.4%: (refill bourbon barrel)
Rich, thick nose with lots of fruits, among them pear, apple and orange, also oak. Rich, sweet, fruity palate, also spicy and oaky - un­for­tu­nately a little too oaky. Oaky yet nice finish. (85 p)

Tomatin 1976 cask 6816 33 y.o. 51.6% (Duncan Taylor):
Very nice nose: complex and unusual with notes of vanilla, citrus, oak shavings and linseed oil. There's also a hint of musty peat. Light, bal­anced, very nice palate with vanilla, orange and peach - at first sweet, then slowly drying. Nice finish with a note of oak. (90 p)

(Interestingly, I thought all four official bottlings were a bit on the oaky side. On the other hand, the Duncan Taylor bottling had just the right amount of oak, despite being much older...)

—   o   —

More articles:

Three new Swedish single malt whiskies
A review of Swedish single malts Box "Pioneer", Hven "Merak" and Smögen "Primör".

Five single malts from Cadenhead's
A review of Ardmore 1997, Balblair 1990, Glen Moray 1992, Strathisla 1987 and Strathmill 1995.

World whisky
A review of single malts from the Czech Republic, England, Germany, India, Sweden and Taiwain.

Six Irish whiskeys
A review of Green Spot, Yellow Spot, Tullamore Dew 12, Redbreast 12, Powers John's Lane and Midleton Barry Crockett Legacy.

Index of all articles