This was a really, really pleasant surprise. I remember being slightly underwhelmed with this one when I tried it in earlier days, but stacked up against the full range it was one of the superstars of a recent sit-down tasting. There are some stunning old cask notes that blend with the sort of fruits you only get in really mature malts. The whole comes together magnificently, to be honest. It’s not without its little bumps, but those are swept away by the overall excitement of something that is more than the sum of its parts.
I’m assuming, since the bottle doesn’t say otherwise, that this quarter century Tomatin was matured entirely in ex-bourbon. Typically their expressions will be clearly marked if finished or matured in something else. Not only that, but the nose positively reeks (in all the right ways!) of fine old bourbon barrels. I think this, other than the spectacular 40 year old, is the best of the Tomatin standard age-stated range.
For the life of me, though, I simply can’t wrap my head around the 43% abv. Even the 18 was released at 46%. I think this would have been a point or two higher if served up at a higher bottling strength. Not that we’re greedy, mind, just that the flavours are so much more vibrant that way. Oh well. Still a great malt.
Nose: A touch of paint and old book. Poached fruits in syrup…with a dusting of cinnamon. Peach. Maybe a little raspberry. Jam on scones. Malty, with some chocolate. Vanilla and polished wood. Mild and quite attractive overall, but there is one very small off note in there.
Palate: Those mature, tangy fruit notes are right up front. Stone fruits, mango, papaya and a little bit of pineapple. Some sexy old smells of…well…awesome. Hard to describe as anything but ‘mature’ (kinda dunnage warehouse-esque. Those lovely tart and tangy notes run all the way through. Vanilla and malty barley.
Thoughts: Yes! Now we’re there. Finally a Tomatin I can get behind. Not perfect, but I could be convinced to work on this relationship.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt