Here’s the big brother (or maybe sister?) of the Tomatin 12 year old we looked at yesterday. This time with a couple more years of relaxation in wood, and a slightly different cask composition. Tomatin elected to forego the disharmonious sherry finish on this one and leave the malt a little more ‘exposed’. Meaning we see the spirit draped in only the gauzy trappings of bourbon barrel influence. Normally this would be more to my liking, to be honest. In this case, however, I’m kinda feeling like we’re still not seeing much more from Tomatin than generic mediocrity. Can’t say there are big outright flaws, but this is a tight malt that takes way too long to bloom.
Perhaps I’m not alone in these sentiments either, as it seems this one has been pulled from production. The Tomatin website refers to the 15 year old as now ‘archived’. To be fair this is not a ‘bad’ dram, but it simply doesn’t cast a big enough shadow to distinguish itself from a bunch of other relatively entry level malts. The 15 is no great loss, and fortunately things do take a step up with the 18 year old. More to come on that one. In the meantime…
Nose: Slightly floral with a touch of pepper. Apple and spice. Ginger. A lot of woody spice. Some soft jammy notes build with enough time in the glass, but almost too late. I don’t want to wait 25 minutes after pouring to enjoy a dram. Still an off note. Like biscuits left in the oven just a minute or two too long.
Palate: Some peach here that isn’t prevalent on the nose. Apple too. A decent amount of ginger and cinnamon. Fruit leather. Somewhat wine-y, but still fruity. Something here is not working for me though. Quite drying and tannic. Leaves fruit skins as it fades. Smooth enough, but should be a bigger abv and fruitier at this age.
Thoughts: A tiny step up from the 12 year old (I think), but still not a lot of personality. On a positive note, at least this is a smoother drinker than its younger sibling.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt