I’m struggling to think of any other whisky “enthusiast” who doesn’t list Tomatin as a favourite distillery. But it’s probably only Stumbler who I think dedicates more processing power and physical resource to the distillery as I think I do. So I was very pleased to receive this pair of uncommon Tomatins in a recent sample swap (I say swap, I think it’s my turn to post but I’ve forgotten what).
The first is US only release from last year, and a recent addition to my auction watch list. The second is an old, rare SMWS bottling of Tomatin (distillery code 11) – hopes are high for a rumoured SMWS Tomatin this year, fingers crossed…
US release only. 9 years in bourbon cask, then 3 years in a collection of red wine casks "decharred and recharred".
Nose - Elegant, lots of fruit and a dusty cask. This is the kind of nose that takes me back to when I was really getting hooked on Tomatin. Sweetly balanced - red fruit, jelly beans, wet sawdust and white wine. The oak is lovely - elegant but bold. Extremely inviting.
Body - Gentle, but full, fruity and sweet. Winey at the back of the delivery, with a touch of sour toffee. Extremely drinkable.
Finish - Long, slightly spicy, a little toffee apple, lingering wood bitterness and finally some sour plum.
What's not good about it - Not a lot. It's a wine cask finish, which might not suit.
What's good about it - A beautiful, sweet and fruit filled nose and a delivery that delivers on those promises. Balanced throughout by excellent wood. What a great whisky.
Nose - Sharper, brighter, and very old school SMWS – it also takes me back! Although not that far. Volatile marker pen, ripe cherry, the cork from a chilled bottle of Sauternes, some candle wax. Toffee and oak - old beyond its years. With water, juicier. Some barely ripe pear.
Body - Deep, sharp, plastic book covering and dusty spice. More plums, a touch of joss stick. Very fruity again but sharply held in check by big, blonde wood. Compelling.
Finish- Long, very dry wood. Winey again - then descending into old fruit bomb. I can hardly believe this is only 10.
What's not good about it - Quite strict.
What's good about it - Loads of distillery character, intense and balanced. An extremely well picked cask - exactly what you'd expect from the Society.