Tomatin purported to be the largest whisky distillery in Scotland for a time in the late 1980s, though production has gone down since then. Like many distilleries in Scotland, a great deal of Tomatin’s output has gone into blends, though it has sought to increase awareness through single malt expressions over the past 10-15 years. Tomatin is also on the cutting edge of environmental responsibility and alcohol consumption awareness. A good thing, for we at Scotchology have always held that if you’re drinking whisky to get blitzed out of your mind, you’re simply doing it wrong. This 12 year expression is from their main line of offerings.
Age: 12 years
Maturation: Oloroso Sherry casks
Nose: Lemon, caramel, wood oil, oak, suntan oil
Palate: Caramel, wax, oil, syrup, spice, vanilla, praline
Finish: Apple vinegar
Comments: Water mutes the nose a little and makes the initial palate gentler
Adam – The Spanish sherry casks are very present in the nose, pleasantly so. There’s a gentle sear in the back of the mouth with overtones of vanilla, wax and spice. I’ve used this before in whisky tastings, since it achieves the desired mix of affordable, accessible and interesting. It’s not the most complex dram, yet has a roundness of character that makes it enjoyable in any season. Or every season.
Kate – I remember the first time I tried this whisky, when friends of mine brought it back from living abroad in the UK. It was winter, and I remember the distinct praline flavor in this Scotch. It also seemed much smoother than it does in late summer. I think this is a winter Scotch, at least I find it easier to appreciate the nuance of flavors and the complexity in such weather. It’s a well-balanced whisky that reminds me of spaghetti, where you don’t know where one noodle begins and another one ends. It’s all interwoven.
Meghan – This is a solstice Scotch, best enjoyed either in the deep of winter or height of summer. I suppose I could also call in a Janus Scotch as it has two faces, one in the winter and one in warmer months but I’ll stick with the alliteration of solstice Scotch. It is a sweeter whiskey than some but still has a layer of spice to give it depth. In the summer the spice seems more like mace or allspice – sharp with a touch of bitterness. In the winter the sweetness seemed more like brown sugar and toffee versus the summer’s artificial caramel topping or Mrs. Buttersworth. Winter brought more vanilla with a touch of clove. It is an oilier Scotch than some and I purposely go with oily over the more attractive descriptor of silky. In fact, I clearly caught of whiff of Coppertone 2 (dark tanning oil of the 80’s) on the nose. It oddly works. I don’t see the Tomatin making it into my top five whiskies or maybe even top ten but I definitely enjoy it. With it’s very accessible price point, it is a good bar staple. It would also make a good gift for someone getting into Scotch and ready to go a bit off the beaten path.