Tomatin 20, 1993-2013, 51.5% – Douglas Laing’s Old Particular

Tomatin is a distillery that has been on my radar for a couple of months now. I don’t know why I never paid attention to it before, but ever since I’m about to go visit them (in two weeks) I’ve been watching them.

Of course, the awesome concept releases of the Contrast set, followed by the Whisky meets Sherry sets help. I should have started to pay attention when their Cuatro series came out, a while ago.

Anyway, I’ve been trying some samples here and there, and this one was sent to me by Ben Cops. It’s a 20 year old from Old Particular. The 51.5% is not cask strength, since Old Particular doesn’t do that for some reason. The whisky was matured in a refill hogshead, which is not surprising if you see the color, or taste the liquid.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

The nose is very austere and clean. Some oak, but not much. The alcohol and the austerity give it an almost chemical scent. Slightly waxy too, with gentle hints of clove, fresh leaves and iron.

The palate is very dry and slightly spicy. Austere again, as well as waxy. Candles, and crisp herbs. Slightly sweet with oak and vanilla.

The finish is very lovely with light hints of vanilla, sweet wax and some pear.

The austerity manifests as hints of iron, slate and some minerals. Like a mountain stream, banked with rocks. It’s an interesting profile which usually indicates longer maturation is a very passive cask. I think 20 years in a cask that did mellow the spirit but did not impart much wood flavors counts as exactly that.

It’s not a whisky for everyone, I think. It’s a very specific profile that I can enjoy, but not one I want to drink on a daily basis. This kind of whisky would be very welcome on the shelf, but it’d be there for a long, long time.

So, good, but not easy. I think I have a Tomatin that fits this profile in my own collection, and I might review that soon. Interesting stuff!

Tomatin 20, 1993-2013, 51.5%, Douglas Laing’s Old Particular. Available at Best of Whisky for € 110


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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