Tomatin has a nice selection of relatively affordable single malts, each with a nice little twist to liven things up. Since we enjoyed the 12 year with sherry cask finish, we decided to see what this slightly older sibling could improve upon with its final eighteen months finishing in port casks. This whisky also scored a 92.5/100 in Jim Murray’s 2015 whisky bible and is thankfully a mainstay in their line of offerings. Say what you will about that particular reviewer or book, this Scotch seems good enough to warrant further attention.
Age: 14 years
Maturation: Port Wood Casks
Nose: Port, dark berry, graham cracker, smoke, crystallized sugar
Palate: Spice, cream, strawberry, honeydew, honeysuckle
Finish: Grass, smoke, sour cherry
Comments: Adding water can cut some of the Port edge, yet strangely seems to increase the oily mouth-feel.
Adam – This Scotch is one classy lady. A swirl with the glass will reveal legs that go on for miles. There’s a nice crackling spice that refuses to descend into maudlin sweetness. The Port qualities don’t dominate but are definitely present, adding some life to the relatively smooth base spirit. A few drops of water make the drink slippery and increases the spice over the fruit; this lady is insulted by any attempts at dilution. It does make the finishing warmth linger a little longer, though, and that is never a bad thing.
Jenny – I like this better with water. I smell the graham cracker and vanilla. Generally sweet, like baking sweet. While I don’t love it, I still like this one.
Meghan – It smells like summer, of fresh berries and sunshine, of wild flowers waving in a slight sea breeze. I would wear this one as perfume if I could. I first tasted this one on a whim while at the pub. I liked it from the first sip. I don’t believe it was my first drink of the night because one of my notes was “super yummy!” Now, I do still agree that this expression is very tasty but it deserves a bit more description than just yummy. Although the nose is decidedly summer, the scotch itself is not tied to a specific season. The warm spice on the palate with the teeniest hint of smoke on the finish lets the Port wood be more of a Scotch for all seasons. The Ice Giants are about to descend upon Minnesota as I type and yet, this Tomatin tastes just as delightful as when I first sipped it during high summer. I prefer it over their classic expression as it has many more dimensions to explore. If you are a fan of complex Highlands or your collection is short on Highlands, or you just need another bottle (don’t we all?) I highly recommend picking this one up.
Michael – This reminds me of an iced wine. I’m picking up some melon. This has a really pleasant nose.