Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Aged Spirits

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

Four expressions of Tomintoul single malt

 21 Oct 2010  

I've heard it said that out of all the dis­til­leries in Scotland that begin with a T, only the whisky from Talisker is worth drinking. That might be useful as a rule of thumb, perhaps (after all, it's hard to go wrong with a Talisker), but I've tried a few brilliant whiskies from Tamdhu and Tomatin, for instance. Tomintoul is another of the lesser known T-distilleries but (like Tomatin) its owners have in the last few years marketed the brand more and also released sev­eral new ex­pres­sions.

I've tasted four varieties of Tomintoul including one called Ballantruan, which is a young, peated ex­pres­sion that was first released in 2005. Here are the tast­ing notes, this time from the oldest to the youngest:

Tomintoul 16 y.o. (40%):
Complex, in­ter­est­ing, rather nice nose: oaky, flowery, also spicy with notes of black pepper and citrus. Sweet, fruity palate - nice yet sur­pris­ingly simple. Unusual finish with oak, fennel and herbs (re­min­is­cent of an aged, spiced akvavit). (84 p)

Tomintoul 14 y.o. (46%):
Interesting nose with notes of citrus, Poire Williams and oak, un­for­tu­nately also a little musty. The palate is a bit hot but with a little water it's sweet with nice notes of citrus and mint but un­for­tu­nately oaky spices dominate. (80 p)

Tomintoul 10 y.o. (40%):
Pleasant, refreshing nose with orange marmalade and custard, also lemon and hints of mint and oak. Mild, light, bal­anced palate with citrus, fairly sweet and creamy. There's not much going on but it's clean, very enjoyable and more-ish. Dry, slightly dis­ap­point­ing finish. (86 p)

Ballantruan (50%):
Nice, in­ter­est­ing nose: smoky and fruity with notes of cereal, mint and butter. The palate is young yet fresh and en­ter­tain­ing - sweet, fruity and chewy with a note of orange. De­velops spices and a hint of bar­be­cued meat. Nice finish with notes of oak and pepper­mint. Surprisingly mild, bal­anced and complex for such a young 'un! (Careful adding water, it hardly needs any!) (84 p)

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