vrijdag 15 maart 2013
Tasting Tomatin 12 YO 40% highland single malt whisky
Tomatin distillery, lying 315 metres (almost 1,000 feet) above sealevel, just 15 miles outside Inverness, was built in 1897.
The name means something like “the hillock of the juniper”.
It was the first Scottish distillery that came into Japanese hands.
It is one of the lesser known brands, that is, as a malt whisky, allthough it was once the largest malt distillery in Scotland during the seventies with 23 (!) stills.
The blends that belong to Tomatin, the Antiquary (great bottledesign) and Talisman are well known.
Tomatin malt whisky is also used in other blends, so we understand. Tomatin however is investing in promoting its own single malts a lot more. You can find them at many festivals around the world for one thing.
Also the whiskyshops seem to have picked up the enhanced attention for Tomatin whisky. We were recommended to try the 12 YO, which is basically the start of the range, with indeed a nice price. Certainly when you compare this to the prices of other Scotch whisky that are skyrocketing lately.
The 12 YO comes in a nice black box. “Distilled with pride” is the payoff. That's always good to hear.
We came to the following tasting notes:
Colour: deep copper/chestnut. But, so it says on the label, it’s colored..we can’t guess why because the label also states that this whisky was finished in Spanish sherry casks, which usually gives enough color to the whisky. Maybe too much color difference between the casks, but if you blend a lot of casks those differences will only be noticable to experts or a spectrophotometer (look it up on Wikipedia).
Nose: Funny enough it took some time for the nose to release. But after a gentle swirl the first note was honey, then ripe pear. The sherrynotes appear. While discussing the nose we also came up with the nose of liqueur
Taste: Sugarbarley, vanilla, apple, tangerine, charred wood, mouth coating. You can see it in the glass too: the “tears” are long.
Finish: Medium long, sweet, not too dry, bit of white pepper but not too sharp.
Our conclusion: this is definitely a whisky to try, a wee dram at a festival or just buy a whole bottle, it is affordable. We in any case are curious for the other Tomatin expressions.
And when you are in the neighbourhood of Inverness, make a stop at the distillery. There is a visitor centre that just has been refurbished in 2012. The distillery also has a cooperage with two coopers working, a thing you will not find at a lot distilleries.
Sources: The Malt Whisky Yearbook 2013, Whiskypedia and Discovering Scotland's Distilleries