Aged Spirits  

Fahrenheit 173 - Whisky

"The king o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Isla or Glenlivit"   (R.L. Stevenson)

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)

—   o   —

More articles in this category:

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 in this category