Douglas Laing Tomatin Tasting Notes

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Scotch Whisky H-Z, Tomatin

Douglas Laing Old Particular Tomatin 1993 (20 year old) 51.5%

Bourbon/ Code: OLP0037/ Dist: Jan 1993 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Quite a dusty nose with a touch of burnt caramel. Fairly edgy, displaying a little herbal sprit note with hints of fragrant summer fruit and barley along with a touch of earth and toffee.

The palate opens with some dusty, almost gristy barley and honey. Pleasantly mature with hints of fleshy fruit, malt and dark toffee. Good length but it’s getting on a little as the slight herbal spirit note on the finish confirms. Quite a woody after-taste as well.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Tomatin 1994 (20 year old) 46.8%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0147/ DL10442/ Dist: 1994 Btl: Aug 2014/  Tasted: Sept 2014

A good nose of mature white fruit, straw and light herbal honey. Edgy citrus, gooseberry, lime and cucumber freshens along with a light mineraly. Gently aromatic with a touch of lightly creamy toffee’d oak.

The palate opens with moist straw-like white fruit, apricot and a touch of toffee. Mineral laced apple, gooseberry and barley come through on the middle along with mature honey and oak. Long with the green fruit and citrus lingering with a touch of boiled sweets and dusty tannins.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Tomatin 1994 (20 year old) 46.8%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0147/ DL10442/ Dist: 1994 Btl: Aug 2014/  Re-Tasted: Dec 2014

A ferny and peppery nose with a touch of coffee and mature, lightly sawdusty oak. The fruit is quite mature and a little baked in character but it still retains some trademark juiciness.

Soft and malty on the palate with baked fruit and earth. Pleasantly dense with building woody spice on the middle. Good length with lingering baked fruit, malt and herbal woody notes. Not quite as complex as the nose would suggest but pleasant nevertheless.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Tomatin 1970 (40 year old) 44.3%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2060/ Dist: Dec 1970 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

The nose opens with sour cherry and citrus infused with edgy granity mature honey. Beautifully mellow and liberally sprinkled with castor sugar is the barley, all backed by some supporting oak. With time it starts to become very sugared and I have to say that the spirit is really showing its age now as it becomes quite spirity with hints of pine resin and glue. The honey fights to stay dominant but it’s having a tough old time and the longer it’s in the glass the more it feels like it’s starting to break up. Maybe I’m being unduly harsh but after tasting the distillery bottled 30 year old and decades bottlings I have to say that it’s really not worth its £125 price tag. I mean for that sort of money it has to be 100% spot on and sadly this isn’t quite there.

The palate is soft, opening with the sweetly spiced fruit – sultana and prune. Although this is wonderfully gentle the sugar and tannins kick in on the middle. The honey does its best to hold those tannins at bay but its struggling. There are some lovely straw and barley notes emerging however. The oak although quite tannic is showing some gorgeously mature vanillins and I’m really torn as the palate isn’t showing the degradation that the nose is. Ultimately though I’m going to have to let this one go.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Tomatin 1990 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2138/ Dist: May 1990 Btl: Jan 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2012

The nose is quite full and sweetly spiced with plenty of rich barley fruit and creamy oak along with hints of mentholated herbs.

The palate is mellow and rich, opening with the softly spiced, herbal accented, fleshy fruit along with a touch of citrus and honey. The alcohol is pretty intrusive but does carry a wave of spices, whilst the oak sits in the background. The finish is a bit hot but there are some fresh citrus notes.


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