I don’t have much experience with Tomatin, for some reason. Contrary to some other brands and distilleries, which I sometimes avoid based on past experiences, this is not the case with Tomatin. Somehow I just never get around to trying many of their bottlings.
I know it generally is a very fruity Speysider, which is a profile I actually quite like. I also know that people have been on tours at the distillery and really enjoyed that part. And there’s a lot of good indie and official stuff out there. There’s nothing to dislike, apparently.
A while ago I got this sample from my mate Ben Cops, who also runs a whisky blog (who doesn’t, nowadays).
The whisky was bottled from a sherry hogshead, so a combination of sherry and American oak. This usually makes for a very fresh sherry experience.
The sherry starts really fruity with dried plums and dates. It’s sharp (the ABV is quite noticeable) and spicy with baking spices. It becomes heavier after a minute or so with more scents of spices and less fruit. A lot of wood influence.
Sweet and fruity on the palate. Lots of sherry, and really sharp. It needs a couple seconds to settle. The palate is slightly peppery and bitter, again with dates and plums. Lots of oak.
The finish quite bitter with lots of wood influence and a lot of ‘wet’ sherry. Very juicy and fruity. Lots of alcohol, fruit and fairly long.
At first I was a bit surprised by the two tracks this dram was following. The fresh sherried fruitiness on one side and the heavier spices and oak on the other. It turned towards the fruity side right after nosing it and stayed there.
It’s huge on the sherry and huge on the fruit. It’s also huge on the alcohol which could be a bit more tame, but there’s always water to sort that out. In short, this is a very nice dram that’s really well priced at some € 70 / £ 50 (back in 2013 that is). I would gladly buy stuff like this for an affordable sherry bomb.
Tomatin 2001-2013, 12 years old, 58.1%, Burns Malt, Sherried hogshead 1598, The Whisky Barrel