While a couple of years ago Tomatin was not a much seen distillery on the shelves of Dutch booze retailers, that has since been remedied with at least a few casks bottled for The Netherlands. Another one than this was bottled for the county itself, this one has been bottled for The Specialist’s Choice.
That last thing is a small group of bottle shops that bottle a cask of whisky every year. Sometimes from an indie bottler (The Nectar, A.D. Rattray) or a distillery itself. I think there also has been a GlenDronach and maybe some others.
This specific one was drawn from a 1st fill Oloroso butt, which means a lot of bottles were available. 655 In this case. Not surprisingly, it didn’t sell out overnight, and I think with a bit of browsing you can find some of the older ones as well.
The nose starts off quite dry with some cherry stone bitterness, which can also be described as almond, I guess. Some raisins and lots of oak. There’s an acidic hint of passion fruit. A scent of hay is added after a long while.
The palate is sharp. Really, really sharp. Bone dry and cutting like a razor. Quite uncomfortable at first with sweet flavors of fruit and spices. Baking spices and dried plums. Some cherries and a tinge of bitterness.
The finish goes full on towards the sherry. Really rich in the fruitiness and baking spices.
This is a bit of a weird one. The sharpness is rather uncomfortable on the palate in a way that can put you off right away. It takes quite a bit of swimming before it settles and your tongue is numb enough to tolerate the alcohol.
Having said that, the flavors are pretty enjoyable and you end up with a nice, and richly sherried dram. It’s not overly complex, but all the staple flavors of a sherried whisky are present.
Tomatin 2006-2016, 10yo, 1st Fill Oloroso Butt 2841, 54.5%, OB for The Specialist’s Choice NL. Widely available in The Netherlands