Archive for the ‘Tomatin’ Category

Edition Spirits ‘The First Editions’ Tomatin 1994 (22 year old) 47.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: EDI0220/ Dist: May 1994 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A fragrant and floral nose with buttercup, hyacinth and an almost salty freshness. Hints of vanilla, gooseberry, green apple, mat and scented/ dusty American oak.

The palate is full and barley’d. Slightly malty and citric with a sliver of honey and hints of straw and gritty oak tannins. Darkens on the middle as the malt, treacle and baked fruit emerge. Lovely depth with a long, gently spiced finish which shows a little drying tannins but those are balanced by the malt and sweet honey.



Claxton’s The Single Cask Tomatin 1994 (21 year old) 48%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead 1503-11247

Dist: Oct 1994 Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Aromas of dusty barley and dark wood spices. Lightly scrubby and herbal with a touch of heather and honey. Showing a delicate baked fruit maturity along with a touch of vanilla.

Mature, baked fruit to begin with on the palate, followed by vanilla, barley and developing, freshening citrus notes. The dark spices come through on the middle and the finish is long with a lovely combination of mouth-wateringly crisp barley and soft, creamy oak. Vibrant and wonderfully balanced.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Tomatin 1994 (20 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2452/ Dist: Oct 1994 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Feb 2015

Dusty and spicy, nutmeg and ginger with hints of honey, melon, granulated sugar and sawdusty oak. The aromas freshen with time as hints of lime and green apple come through.

The creamy vanilla oak on the palate blunts the fruitiness of the nose, but there still a touch of melon, honey and lightly herbal spice. The spice really kicks in on the finish although it’s a tad on the dry side. The oak has overwhelmed the spirit a bit too much but it hasn’t bittered though.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Tomatin 1995 (21 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2645/ Dist: Dec 1995 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Lovely aromas of mature, sawduty American oak and fragrant honey. Followed by layers of barley and subtle fruit – apricot, tangerine and greengage.Lightly floral with time.

The palate is full and barley’d with straw, earth and gorgeously sweet tangerine, balanced by lemon and mineral notes. The oak is relatively subtle and again wonderfully mature. Stunning, vibrant, mouth-watering, citric finale, displaying both sweet citrus and sharp citrus character, along with barley and oak. Now, that’s impressive!

James MacArthur Old Masters Tomatin 1997 (16 year old) 56.4%

Bourbon Cask 5959/ Dist: 1997 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: Dec 2014

The nose displays a lovely intensity of malt, coffee grains and straw. Those sharp grains go head to head with the treacly malt, with neither coming out on top. Fresh and fairly herbal. A powerfully, natural nose.

The palate opens with the herbal and juicy barley with hints of malt, earth and coffee. A little mushroomy and loamy on the middle. Long, malty and juicy fruit finish with a touch of marzipan oak. It’s sort of Tomatin in the raw!

Dilution emphasises the malt and brings out a delightful, light, floral honey note along with some barley and luscious juicy orange. Ooooh it’s really succulent and juicy now! The palate is equally as moist and juicy, but it still retains that earthy, loamy character. Seriously juicy finish with some mature wood notes coming through along with the malt.

Hart Brothers Tomatin 1965 (37 year old) 43%

Sherry/ Dist: Nov 1965 Btl: May 2003/ Tasted: May 2005

A light, aromatic malt. Fruity with hints of ginger, dark chocolate, dried fruit, raisins and sultanas. On the palate it is distinctly Christmas pudding like. Full of rich, spiced fruit with a smooth chocolatey feel. Very long and complex.

Gordon & MacPhails ‘Connoisseurs Choice’ Tomatin 1988 (22 year old) 43%

Refill American Hogshead/ Dist: 1988 Btl: June 2010/ Tasted: June 2011

A beautiful fragrant nose, liberally imbued with pure cracked black pepper, light oily honey shot through with barley and displaying a lovely maturity to honeyed aromas.  With time some rather good, juicy fruit and integrated oak become apparent and it becomes quite malty and really fills out. 

The palate is soft and juicy with a gorgeous complexity of light honey and granity notes. It has a lovely, soft maturity which gently builds and fills the mouth with plenty of malt and barley. That pepper arrives on the middle with a serious intensity and lingers right through to the finish where some lovely, light orange notes appear.

Duncan Taylor Tomatin 1991 (18 year old) 55.9%

Bourbon Cask 14193/ Dist: 1991 Btl: 2009/ Tasted: Oct 2009

A lovely, dense and earthy nose, with maturing honey along with a slight floral top note and some sweet spices. Finally the oak puts in an appearance adding a buttery note to balance the citrus. Soft and deliciously fruity on the palate, apricots wrapped in wood spices plus crisp white pear and a hint of elderflower. The alcohol is piquant and after it subsides it leaves a very distinctive hoppy/ leafy/hemp note. A lovely not too sweet finish which fades into a light coffee-malt after taste. 

A drop of water really ramps up the floral aromas and a slight violet note is discernable. The fruit has become lovely and juicy with orange, tangerine and grapefruit. On the palate it removes the oak interaction, however it sits at the back of the tongue. It’s still very herbal but some gristy spices appear as does that violet note, which intensifies towards the finish. 

Duncan Taylor Tomatin 1965 (40 year old) 47.6%

Bourbon cask/ Dist: 1956 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2005

A deep, complex nose, full of dried fruit, nuts, lanolin, wax polish, wood oil and oodles of ginger spiced fruit cake. Medium-full bodied, very soft and succulent with rich, moist fruit cake, ginger, raisins. Very long with the bourbon oak coming through on the finish.

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.

Dewar Rattray Tomatin 1988 (20yr) 55.4%

Refill Sherry cask 1087/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2008/ Tasted: Apr 2009

Would you believe it? Another bottling that caused my hand written tasting notes to fill an entire page! Mind you I must have written ‘wow!’ a dozen or so times! 

Huge, enveloping aromas of delicate re-fill sherry along with lashings of spiced dates, mature honey and walnuts. It then descends into a stunning moist fruitcake depth. Wow! (sorry had to leave at least one in!) We’re not finished yet as hints of vanilla, smoke and scented flowers drift by. Very, very complex with an abundance of honey to die for. The balance is superb. The sherry only lays a supporting role (as it should). Finally there is a late malty/earthy/rose petal intimation. 

Like the nose the sherry begins this journey along with a fair degree of wood tannins. Then it’s off. Juicy, liquid honey and moist fruitcake flavour proliferate along with dates, walnuts and liquorice. The alcohol briefly halts the procession but it is quickly swamped. Amazing earthy maturity, amazing length, amazing whisky!

A little drop of water emphasises the gorgeous liquid honeyed fruit, the sherryaromas retreat and form a lovely backdrop. Stunning! It also brings out some leafy-herbal, mint and menthol along with coffee ice cream. On the palate it becomes a morass of honeyed dried fruits, figs, raisins sultanas and malt. Again the sherry supports. Stunning length with a piquant finish and even a hint of smoke and the most crumbliest spices imaginable, absolutely divine!! ……… Wow!! 

Dewar Rattray Tomatin 1988 (21 year old) 55.2%

Sherry Cask 1088/ Dist: 1988 Btl: 2010/ Tasted: Aug 2010

A dense, mellow Amontillado lead nose. There’s plenty of dried fruit (apricot, figs, sultanas) nuts and a hint of perfumed orange fruit. Slightly coastal with hints of liquorice and earth. Over time it develops a candied note. 

The palate opens with the dense, Amontillado dried fruits, coffee and liquorice. A bit herbal and slightly tannic but very mouth filling. The alcohol bites allowing the sumptuous liquid orange fruit coat the tongue and linger. 

With water the nose is stunning. Now it has unfettered itself from the cask the beautifully perfumed honeyed orange fruit really comes out to play, accented by the dried fruit rancio. The palate is much the same with a superb dry spice finish.

Tomatin Five Virtues – Wood 46%

10% Hungarian oak from 1999 (18yr?)

20% American oak from 2006 (11yr?)

70% French oak from 2006 (11yr?)

Tasted: Apr 2017

It’s no surprise to say that the nose is quite woody! Tight, spicy (cinnamon, clove) French oak is balanced by some sweet vanilla and hints of brown sugar, sweet-ish maple syrup and birch sap. With time elderflower, barley and orange peel notes.

The palate is still woody but softer with the vanilla and brown sugar sweetness balancing the dusty cinnamon, clove and coriander powder. Hints of barley, malt and supple baked fruit follow. Long and woody with a lovely citrus burst to enliven the finish. Lingering dusty, almost mentholated, woody spices.

Tomatin Five Virtues – Fire 46%

Re-charred American oak Hogshead from 2005 (12yr?)

Tasted: Apr 2017

Immediate aromas of heavily charred oak with bitter cinnamon and pepper. Quite visceral and aggressively oaky, the re-charring has given the oak a very grainy, almost European character.. However with time a touch of barley, malt and baked fruit appears along with a slightly freshening citrus and vanilla note.

The palate opens with the tight, charred oak with a touch of vanilla custard powder and hard barley. Hints of malt, dark chocolate and coffee come through, but the oak is aggressive as the nose would lead you to believe. Lightly citric with a very dry, bitter spiced finish. I hate to say it but the re-charring has sucked all the sweetness from the spirit.

Tomatin Five Virtues – Earth 46%

Peated Spirit

50% Refill Hogshead from 2006 (11yr?)

25% Sherry Hogsheads from 2006 (11yr?)

25% First Fill Bourbon from 2006 (11yr?)

Tasted: Sept 2017

The nose opens quite fresh and citric (lime) with some almost medicinal peat, before the oily spirit, sweet orange, barley and subtle white chocolate notes arrive. There’s not a huge amount of oak character, but that allows the crisp, peaty spirit to show.

The palate is crisp and citric with barley and developing, oily apricot and white fruit. Again the peat is slightly medicinal and is balanced well by the sweetness and fruitiness of the spirit. Very salty and citric finish with hints of burnt wood, liquorice and tar. Like the nose there isn’t much oak character, so it’s all about the spirit character.

Tomatin Five Virtues – Metal 46%

First Fill Bourbon from 2003 (14yr?)

Tasted: Oct 2017

The nose is voluptuous and estry with apricot, pineapple and banana. Really fleshy with exuberant creamy, coconutty oak. That’s a big and sexy nose!

The palate opens with the creamy oak, coconut and vanilla, followed by barley and the estery fruit – apricot, apple, pineapple and banana. A little bitter on the middle but the creaminess balances. Lovely, spicy finish with lingering crisp barley. Wow! What a fruit bomb!

Tomatin Five Virtues – Water 46%

50% Sherry Butts from 2005 (12yr?)

50% Second Fill Bourbon 2005 (12yr?)

Tasted: Oct 2017

The nose opens with some subtly treacly Oloroso and hints of prune, walnut and moist fruit cake. Hints of barley and tart citrus emerge and I know this probably sounds daft but it has an icy/ wintery feel. Wonderfully balanced, robust and spicy, and similar in style to the standard 12 year old.

The palate is slightly earthy (rather than watery!) with polished treacly Oloroso and hints of sweet barley, apricot and vanilla. A little dusty tannin comes through on the middle along with some spice. Long and remaining spicy with lingering Oloroso and a touch of bitter, chocolaty tannins. Very impressive.

Tomatin Cask Strength Edition Batch 1 57.5%

Bourbon/ Oloroso

Tasted: Feb 2015

Intense, natural, earthy barley with hints of liquorice, citrus and herbal infused dried fruit. Vibrant and complex, the aromas keep unfolding to show a touch of ginger, walnut, sultana, prune and malt. With time it becomes very herbal with an almost hop like character. A drop of water brings out the American oak and loads of botanical notes – juniper, cardamom and dusty cinnamon.

The palate is intense and dry with dates, prune, walnut and burnt raisins. The Oloroso is very prominent adding hints of orange, coffee’d tannins, tobacco and treacle although the American oak does add a light marzipan note. Lovely spicy/ cedary finish with a dry but not bitter finish. Dilution makes it more honeyed and just like on the nose it brings out the American oak. Still fairly edgy and tannic but those tannins have softened. The purity of the barley now shines through along with a touch of vanilla. Still long with the spices showing a gentler side and the botanical notes returning. It has a lovely controlled rawness and spiciness.

Tomatin Cask Strength Edition Batch 1 57.5%

Bourbon/ Oloroso

Re-Tasted: Aug 2015

Intense, herbal and earthy aromas of alcohol soaked baked fruit, liquorice, malt, ginger and walnut skin. Pretty tight and very natural in character. It definitely needs a drop of water.

The palate is dry and malty with more pruny Oloroso charcter showing along with baked fruit, coffee, tobacco, manure, marzipan and earth. Good length with hints of orange, white liquorice, ginger and gentle but drying spices on the finish.

With water the nose is still very malty and earthy with a greater emphasis on the herbal and spices, especially cinnamon and cardamom. The palate show a little more oily barley and vanilla. Subtly herbal now and seriously spicy. Again very natural with some stony/ granity notes now noticeable and lingering white liquorice and cardamom.

Tomatin Limited Edition Caribbean Rum Cask 2007 (9 year old) 46%

100% Rum Matured/ Dist: May 2007 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

Full and fleshy aromas of slightly tropical, melon, pineapple, apricot an barley, augmented by the sweet, lightly oxidised rum notes. Crisp, mineral notes balance the sweetness superbly and there is a late hint of vanilla.

The palate opens with the barley and possibly a more noticeable rum cask character, both dried and bake fruit. Lovely depth and not as sweet as the nose suggests as the intense minerality cuts through the sweetness. Long and sweeter now as the subtle tropical fruit notes arrive along with straw, gentle spice and slightly drying tannins.

Tomatin 10 year old 40%

Tasted: Nov 2003

A light nose of bourbon oaked, lightly oiled citrus  fruit. A light, pleasant palate. A bit of citrus fruit, a bit of oak, a touch of earth. Unpretentious.

Tomatin 12 year old 40%

111/2 years in first and second fill bourbon, followed by 6 months in fist and second fill Oloroso.

Tasted: June 2011

A slightly high toned and floral nose with some herbal honey, barley, malt and just a suble note of rich sherry. Lovely balance with hints of wood spice, buttery vanillins and granity notes.

A rather delightful palate opening with the granity honey and the American oak followed by some youthful cereal, spicy sherried fruit and wood spices. Mouth filling and malty with hints of barley and oily honey in the finish. Good length with a typical Highland granity finish.

Tomatin 12 year old 40%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: Quite a mature and earthy nose. Baked fruit mingles with hints of earthy-peat, malt vinegar and polished wood. With time a floral note appears.

Palate: A little musty to begin with. Again very much like the nose. Lightly oiled and a little muddy.

Finish: Earthy and slightly muddy with a mature confected note.

Conclusion: A bit old and muddy, lacking any exuberance on the palate. It’s a love or hate style and personally it leaves me a bit cold.

Tomatin 12 year old 40%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2013

Aromas of baked fruit with a suggestion of earthy peat. Like the previous time I tasted it there is more sherry character with a distinct fruity cakey dried fruit and chunky orange rind character. Not as elegant as previous bottlings with the heavy treacle overtones being a little suppressing.

The palate is again heavy on the baked fruit, malt and juicy, dried, sherried fruit. A touch of granite on the middle attempts to inject some freshness. A little bit short as the oak grips, finishing with hints of treacle and liquorice.

Tomatin 12 year old 43%

Tasted: Nov 2016

The nose begins with the fresh citrus and lightly grainy barley. Herbal and slightly coffee’d sherry follows and comes through quite strongly. With time subtle menthol and milk chocolate aromas appear.

The palate opens with a touch more chocolaty and treacly sherry with gentle dried fruit notes. It moves into herbal Oloroso territory before the vanilla and slightly grainy oak and mineral notes come through on the finish. Long, with lingering subtly balked fruit, floral apricot and barley. That extra 3% alcohol gives it a really intense finish.

Tomatin Cuatro 12 year old Fino Sherry Finish 46%

9 year in American oak, 3 years finishing in sherry

Tasted: Nov 2014

A soft, succulent and beautifully fruity nose – apple, apricot, honey, toffee and barley all set against a back drop of creamy American oak. Above is a light salty, toasted nut and white fruit note. Very elegant. The Fino finish is very light and can only just be discerned.

The palate opens with the sweet barley and oak along with some succulent dried grape with hints of toffee and nuts. Again very elegant with a building citrus minerality. Full and juicy with a long, lightly salted but very nutty finish. Some lovely, dusty spice comes through but that is a really fresh finish!

Tomatin Cuatro 12 year old Manzanilla Finish 46%

9 year in American oak, 3 years finishing in sherry

Tasted: Nov 2014

A darker, more malty nose with hints of lightly oxidised citrus fruit (tangerine and lime). Quite salty with hints of barley, apricot and a touch of dried grape. The nose displays a lovely balance between the malty distillery character and the finishing cask.

The palate is denser and oilier, opening with the light, honey coated barley, stewed fruit, malt and a touch of toffee coated apple and spice. It progresses very well into the manzanilla notes of salt, nuts and dried tangerine and Satsuma. Delicately salty finish with lingering juicy fruit. Very well balanced.

Tomatin Cuatro 12 year old Oloroso Finish 46%

9 year in American oak, 3 years finishing in sherry

Tasted: Nov 2014

An aromatic and lightly leafy nose with perfumed barley, apple and grass. Quite fresh for an Oloroso finish with a developing oily nuttiness. Hints of dried fruit, treacle, walnuts and lightly tannic, dry spices.

The palate is dry and quite leafy but not over done on the Oloroso front. Complex, with oily walnuts, liquorice, treacle and dark, malty fruit. Some spicy tannins come through on the middle and there is a lovely mineral/ citrus freshness to the finish which balances. The oak bitters ever so slightly adding a touch of coffee grains but the light treacle offsets and there’s a lightly sated after-taste.

Tomatin Cuatro 12 year old Pedro Ximinez Finish 46%

9 year in American oak, 3 years finishing in sherry

Tasted: Nov 2014

The nose is deeper and more floral than the other bottlings in the range with hints of sweet raisins, prune, figs, toasted treacle toffee and malt. Like the others the finish is very delicate and allows the crisp barley, apple, minerals and grassy notes to come through.

The palate is soft and full with pruney, dark fruit, toffee and treacle. Quite rich but again the mineral spirit character comes through on the middle. Very long and mouth-watering with a salty, citrus and mineral finish. Wow! That’s an intense finish, which is a lot drier than I was expecting. In saying that the lightly treacly PX fruit lingers.

Tomatin 14 year old Tawny Port Finish 46%

13 years in Bourbon/ 1 year in Tawny Port casks which previously held 30-40 year old port

Tasted: May 2014

The nose is quite rich and malty with baked apple and hints of dark toffee, chocolate and plumy/ tawny/ earthy red berries. With time the port notes become a little perfumed and some sweet apricot, caramel, oily vanillins and barley comes through. Very well balanced.

The palate is as well balanced as the nose would suggest. Again it is quite malty and dark with tawny/ earthy berry fruit followed by hints of apricot, banana, barley and dusty spices. Quite nutty on the middle – walnut shell with a fresh citrus and alcohol burst which clears the way for the lightly toffee’d American oak to come through. Beautiful dark chocolate fade.

Tomatin 14 year old Tawny Port Finished 46%

Re-Tasted: May 2015

Full and soft aromas of sweet barley, honey and juicy, tawny fruit. Hints of straw, red liquorice, orange, pomegranate, cranberry and earth appear. With time the red fruit notes become increasingly perfumed, but not overly so.

The palate opens with the syrup coated dried red fruit, followed by barley, straw, malt and juicy tawny berry fruit. Lovely nutty intensity on the middle with some supple chocolate tannins. Long with lingering off-sweet fruit and finishing with a crisp minerality.

Tomatin Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon Cask 2002 (14 year old) 46%

9 years in Bourbon/ 5 years in Cabernet Sauvignon

Dist: Jan 2002 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

A big hit of juicy, jammy red fruit with hints of honey, milk chocolate and warming spice. A little balsamic with the American oak finally adding a touch of vanilla.

The palate shows plenty of syrup coated red fruit, spice and a touch of milk chocolate. Some vanilla and subtle mineral notes come through on the middle but the finishing cask dominates. Good length with the minerality and citrus picking up the pace to clear through the winey red fruit leaving a slightly jammy redcurrant finish.

Tomatin 15 year old 40%

First and second fill bourbon/ Tasted: June 2011

The nose has more of the Highland Character to it as it is sans sherry. Fresh, floral and granity, but it becomes a tad muted by the heavy, oily caramel aromas.

The palate is soft and gentle opening with some white fruit and straw along with hints of honey and juicy barley. But like the nose the oak grips too much and overwhelms the palate pretty quickly. Reasonable length with some oily maltiness.

Tomatin 15 year old 40%

First and second fill bourbon/ Re-Tasted: June 2013

A fresh, very citrusy white fruit nose with a light oiliness. Hints of grass, honeysuckle and earth appear. Less overly oaked than the last time I tasted it but a late manurey note appears which is rather at odds with the lovely, fresh citrus character.

The palate is soft and oily with a little milky American oak up first, which definitely takes the edge of the freshness. Hints of citrus, white fruit and flowers follow. Good mineral middle but it’s a little short and hot with a grassy aftertaste.

Tomatin ‘Limited Edition’ 15 year old 52%

Vatting of 1996 (15 year old) Second Fill Bourbon and 1994 (17 year old) Second Fill Bourbon which was transferred to Tempranillo casks in 2008 (almost 4 years)

Dist 1994/6 Btl: June 2012

Tasted: July 2012

An exceedingly fruity nose. Light syrup coated raspberry and plum followed by crisp barley and gentle citrus. With time some earthy but creamy, slightly toffee’d American oak comes through along with a touch of apricot and beeswax. Stunningly balanced, the Tempranillo notes are subtle but very effective.

The palate opens with some relatively sweet apricot and almonds. Very deep and like the nose exceedingly fruity with plenty of sweet American oak. The tempranillo drifts in with notes of raspberry, plums and some gorgeous, earthy spices follows on the finish. Very long with hints of cinnamon coated apples and a touch of tannin.

A drop of water emphasises the earthiness and brings out a touch of green banana. It also gives the apricot fruit a serious fleshiness. The American oak is very creamy now and the Tempranillo notes are very subtle, but still present. The palate is very much the same. Quite oily now with a touch of honey and more beeswax. There are hints of white fruit and the finish is wonderfully soft and spicy. Now finishes with a light raspberry syrup note. All in all a seriously good wine finish.

Tomatin 18 year old 40%

16 years in first and second fill bourbon, followed by 2 years in second and third fill Oloroso.

Tasted: June 2011

A gorgeous nose with no shortage of herbal honey, granity fruit, sweet barley and a delicate, soupcon of leafy sherry. A thin sliver of smoke and a deft nuttiness add to the complexity of the aromas. The honey is wonderfully mature and the American oak vanillins are very well integrated.

The palate opens with the American oak showing a lithe milky/ creaminess, intertwined with some lazy smoke. A superbly fresh and granity middle with the honey barley, followed by some herbal notes as the light sherry kicks in. Superb length with a delightfully mouth watering, earthy and smoky finish.

Tomatin 18 year old 46%

Re-Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: A hard and granity nose, showing plenty of oily Guyana rum like dried fruit. Gentle spices mingle with some polished wood notes. The oak begins to turn a bit sawdusty with time and hints of dried grape and sultana. Superb depth.

Palate: Like the nose, hard and granity. Ever so slightly spirity with plenty of oily rum-like dried fruit. Lots of drying tannins on the middle, which some mature honey tries to counter but those tannins dominate.

Finish: Good length with a continuation of the wood theme. Quite a bitter chocolate finish.

Conclusion: A superb nose, but some cracks are beginning to appear on the palate

Tomatin 18 year old 46%

Nose: Youthful and high toned with banana, pineapple, lemon and sweet spice. Quite sharp with just a touch of vanilla oak. Pretty straightforward but very lemony!

Palate: Soft and lightly oiled with perfumed apricot and hints of coffee. Quite tannic and grainy with some tart citrus notes emerging.

Finish: Reasonable length with a continuation of the lemony theme.

Conclusion: Pleasant if fairly simplistic.

Tomatin 18 year old 43%

Re-Tasted: Nov 2016

Succulent aromas of raisins, sultana, prune and dusty sherrywood. It opens to show a subtle Armagnac-esque rancio and a touch of coffee. The slightly sawdusty vanilla oak comes through and lightens the nose and eventually becomes the dominant character.

The palate is very much like the nose, with the sherry up first with hints of coffee, dusty tannins, prune, raisin and dried plum. Lovely, intense, citric and mineral middle clears the way for the soft vanilla oak to come through on the finish. Long with lingering barley, grass, mineral’s and coffee.

Tomatin ‘Single Cask’ 1992 (20 year old) 53.9%

Sherry Cask 31497 / Dist: 1992 Btl: 2012/ Tasted: Dec 2012

Quite an intense, nutty, but pure, almost amontillado-esque nose. Some deft coffee arrives with some herbal notes, then the spices arrive – waves of crunchy cinnamon coated barley followed by plummy dried fruit and dark honey. Not a huge amount of distillery character but a stunning depth and very clean!

The palate is silky, soft and nutty, with that amontillado-esque laced fruit. The tannins and alcohol build and mask the middle but the finish is so juicy and luscious with a riot of sultana, dried cherry and moist coffee drizzled, nutty barley. Quite soft, even at cask strength with a lovely, deftly sugared finish.

With water a slight blemish shows on the nose but the aromas have become quite amontillado-salty with hints of blood orange, vanilla and crumbly spices. The palate is less intense and again shows that blemish. A bit short now and slightly bitter but there is plenty of roasted coffee bean notes now.

Tomatin Limited Edition Oloroso Cask 1995 (21 year old) 46%

18 years in Refill Bourbon/ 3 years in First Fill Oloroso hogshead

Dist: June 1995 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Sept 2016

A mature, sherry dominated nose of sub-Armagnac-esque dried fruit – raisin, prune and sultana. Hints of coffee, incense and spice follow. With time a touch of minerality appears along with some apricot and vanilla.

Juicy and chewy sherried dried fruit with a touch of chocolate. Succulent and pleasantly mature with the chocolate becoming slightly bitter in nature and some dry spice emerging. The intrinsic minerality of the spirit picks up and injects some vibrancy and then it’s back to the raisinated, dusty tannin and cinnamon coated sherry on the finish. I’m surprised how dominating the Oloroso is given the ‘relatively’ short finishing time.

Tomatin Limited Edition Oloroso Cask 1995 (21 year old) 46%

Re-Tasted: Oct 2016

Nose: Mature, subtle and richly sherried with dried prune, fig, walnuts and orange conserve. Hints of almost rye-like herbs, golden syrup and Demerara sugar follow. Late hints of damp earth and dunnage warehouses.

Palate: Elegant, unassuming and subtle. Juicy dried plum, raisin and prune mingle with malt, treacle, and coffee’d, slightly bitter tannins.

Finish: Long and spicy, but rather drying with lingering coffee, wood smoke and cinnamon sticks.

Conclusion: An incredibly laid back and pleasantly mature malt. A dram that requires time and contemplation.

Tomatin 1988 (26 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Port finish

Batch 1 – 2500 bottles

Tasted: May 2014

Quite a fresh and barley led nose with tropical honey, melon and apricot. The port finish adds a light strawberry jam note. Lightly malty with hints of dried grass, light coffee, orange and sawdusty American oak. A textbook example of finishing in ex port casks!

The palate opens with sweet, dusty barley with hints of butter, honey subtle tropical fruit and dried grass. A touch of syrup coated red fruit comes through on the middle with the barley sweetness developing. Robust, rounded, mouth-filling, balanced and very elegant. Lightly minty with a touch of chocolate powder and smoke on the finish.

Tomatin 1982 (28 Year old) 57%

Refill Sherry Puncheon 92/ Dist: Jan 1982 Btl: Aug 2010/ Tasted: Jan 2012

A very earthy, slightly smoky nose of pure, nutty, oxidised dried fruit with a beguiling perfumed note which is slightly musky and delicately sweet. A stunning sherry cask, stunningly deep and immaculately clean with hints of dark toffee, deftly sprinkled with brown sugar and crumbly spices. Legendary stuff!

My god that’s an orgasmic start! Warm, moist fruitcake glides over the tongue followed by an earthy dried stewed fruit rancio. The piquant alcohol is softened by some beautiful muscavado sugar and hints of almond essence, liquid toffee-honey fills in the space. This is monumental stuff! Stunning length with some crumbly spices interwoven with hints of liquorice, 60% cocoa chocolate and flecks of barley. The balance is impeccable and there is definitely no need for a drop of water.

Tomatin 30 year old 46%

Matured in 80% American Oak and 20% Sherry Butts

Tasted: June 2011

A deep and luscious nose of violet tinted, sawdusty oak and beautiful, fleshy summer fruits, mature honey and a touch of grass and minerals. With time the oak becomes quite buttery and a background sherry note puts in an appearance. Gorgeously evolving…. Now there is a lovely perfumed top note…. Oooh and now there’s more honey……….. Oooh, damn this is good!

Beautifully soft, assertive and delightfully complex on the palate. Opening with the natural oils in full swing, followed by mature honey and crisp citrus fruit, minerals and grass. The oak is a lot less obvious but it does add hints of banana and violets to the sub-tropical fruit, which unfolds in layers. A lovely, crisp, granity finish which balances the viscous natural oils and fruit. Amazing length… this is just so damn fruity!! 

Tomatin 30 year old 46%

Matured in 80% American Oak and 20% Sherry Butts

Re-Tasted: June 2013

A beautiful, evocative nose of juicy mandarin and apricot, liberally doused in honey. Gentle, mature, sawdusty oak pokes through along with hints of malt biscuits, melon and straw. Delicate and balanced with a slight floral note appearing. The sherry adds a little dried fruit and dusty spices to the mix.

The palate is gentle and complex, opening with the sherried dried fruit plus hints of toasted malt and treacle. Luscious honeyed apricot, dusty spice and sawdusty American oak follow. Finally the plumy, dried fruit and dates returns along with some placid mouth-coating chocolaty tannins and it ends with a vibrant, slightly violety, citrus/ mineral/ granity finish. Heavenly!

Tomatin 30 year old (2013 Release) 46%

Tasted: Aug 2013

A beautiful, dense, straw-like nose of apricot and greengage with hints of light coffee, ginger and cinnamon. Quite fresh and mineral with a sliver of light honey and buttery oak. The oak starts to become slightly sawdusty and a touch of light sherried fruit appears along with a hint of treacle and some developing floral notes.

The palate is soft, full and generous, opening with some dark malt and sherried dried fruit. Gently spiced with a touch of apricot conserve, greengage and gooseberry. The American oak begins to make headway on the middle as the minerality increases and the fruit turns a little tropical. Quite an oily finish but the minerality keeps the palate feeling fresh. Very long with a touch of coffee and warm spices in the finish and a light marzipan after-taste. Have they used a little more sherry cask matured spirit this year? The palate would certainly indicate that, even so it’s exceptionally good.

Tomatin 36 year old 46%

Bourbon/ Oloroso

Tasted: Sept 2015

Mature and earthy aromas with brittle dark chocolate, ginger and some lovely dusty American oak. Hints of honey and exotic fruit emerge as the sherry gives way. Stunning depth of soft spices intermingled with some grainier coffee’d tannins. With time hints of toffee, liquorice and herbs round the nose off.

The palate is displays a little more of the Oloroso character. Gently woody with malt, marmalade orange and light treacle. A touch of thyme, cardamom and heather appears as does the mature American oak. The mid palate is awash with a stunning depth of exotic fruit and honey. Incredibly long with a touch of lightly salted green nuts and a return of the herbal sherried dried fruit and spices. Lightly woody fade as the tannins return with a touch of dark chocolate. A fabulous old malt!

Tomatin 1967 (40 year old) 42.9%

A vatting of 7 Bourbon Hogsheads

Dist: May 1967 Btl: Oct 2007/ Tasted: Jan 2012

A beautiful old bourbon oaked nose of lightly toasted toffee and cinders. It has to be said you have to work this nose as it’s pretty tight and unforthcoming. Given time some hints of marmalade, roasted orange peel, spices, mature honey, burnt raisin and slightly sawdusty oak do begin to show. Faultlessly clean and extremely mature.

A soft and subtle palate of honeycomb, malt, toffee and light liquorice, but the oak starts to clamp down as the oils increase. A stunning middle – almond infused sub-cognac like dried fruit and dusty spices to die for. The sweet earthy-malt and the oils see off the oak intrusion rather well, but the finish is a touch on the dry side as some granite notes appear, but frankly my dear, this is a stunning old bourbon aged malt.


Tomatin ‘Decades’ 46%

In recognition of his 50 years service at Tomatin, Douglas Campbell (the distillery manager) has created a Single Malt using whiskies distilled in each of the 5 decades he has worked at the distillery. Starting with a 1967 cask and moving through each of the subsequent decades to the year 2005.

The Casks that made up this stunning dram are as follows: 1967 Refill Sherry Hogsheads, 1976 Oloroso Butts, 1984 Refill Sherry Hogsheads, 1990 First Fill Bourbon barrels, and 2005 First Fill Bourbon barrels.

Tasted: June 2011

A beautiful Highland nose. Absolutely textbook stuff – soft, well endowed with a complexity of citrus fruit, a touch of grass and some lovely, sweet, buttery oak. With time it becomes quite perfumed as the lighter, younger notes, swirl around the core of mature spirit. A stunning nose, which gives up new aromas each time your put your nose into the glass.

Lovely, rich and full bodied in the mouth. Generous seeped, mature fruit accented by Satsuma notes fills the mouth. The middle has a beautiful fresh Sauvignon blanc character along with grass and mineral nuances. Again there is less oak on the palate and frankly it allows the full complexity of this vatting to shine through. Exceptionally long with a palate cleansing, classic, granity Highland finish.

Tomatin Decades 46%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2013

A beautiful fresh nose of slightly sawdusty, mature American oak intermingled with fresher American oak vanillins. Wonderful, honeyed barley sweetness with sherry casks adding spice and a wulnutty richness. Superbly balanced between the spirit and the various casks. With time some crisp, granity notes appear but the buttery oak counteracts. Frighteningly good!

The palate opens with the soft, unctuous honeyed barley and sawdusty American oak along with the fresh granity notes and some fragrant violet notes. The sherry spices kick in on the middle along with hints of toffee, liquorice and golden Tate & Lyle syrup. The citrus and granite arrow through and make for a mouth watering finale. Unbelievably good with a lightly smoky, herbal accented finish.

Tomatin Contrast Bourbon Edition 46%

A vatting of 2 x 1997 Hogsheads, 2 x 1977 Barrels, 3 x 1998 Hogsheads, 2 x 1991 Barrels, 4 x 2002 Barrels and 2 x 2006 Barrels.

Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

An extremely estery nose, over brimming with slightly tropical pineapple, banana and apricot. A wonderful fruit monster! However it is far from one-dimensional as hints of barley, granite, citrus and vanilla, baked fruit and malt are all present. With time some lovely, mature, sawdusty oak appears.

The palate is wonderfully soft and succulent, showing a little more barley character but there is still plenty of sub-tropical, estery fruit along with hints of mature honey and oak. Lightly spicy with a tart, green citrus note freshening. Long and juicy with lingering vanilla and spice. Stunning!

Tomatin Contrast Sherry Edition 46%

A vatting of 1 x 1997 Butt, 1 x 1977 Butt, 1 x 1998 Butt, 1 x 1991 Butt, 1 x 2002 Butt and 1 x 2006 Butt .

Btl: 2015/ Tasted: Aug 2015

The nose is subtly spicy and herbal with a refill sherry character which lets the granite infused sub-tropical fruit shine through. Lightly nutty with hints of sultana, dried orange and earthy cinnamon spice.

Opens with soft malt and earthy notes on the palate along with some lightly baked fruit and subtle sherried dried fruits and lightly chocolaty tannins. There’s plenty of Highland character on the middle along with a touch of soft vanilla, clove and cinnamon. Wonderfully succulent, juicy and long with raisin, dried plum and spicy mocha on the finish.


Tomatin Legacy 46%

Aged in Bourbon and Virgin Oak Casks

Tasted: Mar 2013

A full on cream fest of a nose with marshmallow, creamy vanilla and candy floss with huge slabs of sweetened apricot and pineapple, but………… It has a delightful minerality along with a good degree of herbal citrus notes which add freshness and balance. It sort of reminds me a bit of the Jameson Gold Reserve.

The palate is soft, fat and creamy with caramel drizzled crème brulee, pineapple and wood spice but like the nose the combination of alcohol and citrus adds a lovely freshness and a herbal/ ferny note becomes apparent on the middle. Very long with hints of green apple and citrus in the finish, which keeps all that oak firmly in check. It maybe a big, sweet and voluptuous beauty but it is extremely well balanced and that after taste of lingering, crumbly coffee-spices is wonderful.

Tomatin Legacy 43%

Re-Tasted: Nov 2016

Fresh and citric aromas with a light grassiness and barley notes, followed by sweet vanilla oak and some subtle grainy and toasty oak notes. Pleasantly fruity and balanced with emerging apricot and banana.

The palate is slightly gristy and vanilla’d, opening with the grippy, spicy oak and followed by luscious apricot and barley, which balances the oak well. Long and mineral with a mouth-watering spicy twang.


Tomatin Cù Bòcan46%

Aged in Virgin Oak, Bourbon and Sherry/ Peated to 15ppm/ Tasted: Sept 2013

Initially the nose is crisp and clean with honey barley and tropical fruit along with a touch of grass and light sawdusty oak. The honey becomes lightly floral (orange blossom?) and a touch of smoky peat appears. Sweetly spiced with building citrus and castor sugar notes with late oily vanilla.

The palate is soft and full, maybe not quite as exuberantly fruity as the nose but there is a pleasant degree of apricot, apple, light honey, gentle spice, light barley and grass. Like the nose a light, smoky-peat note becomes evident along with a touch of liquorice, earth and malt. Very spicy on the middle. Good length with a lovely, fresh citrus finish.

Tomatin Cu Bocan ‘Limited Edition Sherry Matured’ 46%

First Fill Sherry Butts/ Tasted: Sept 2014

The nose opens with some slightly confected, boiled sweets sherry notes, followed by dried fruit, liquorice, toffee and warm spice. Lightly smoked and malty with a slight youthful, herbal, spirit note and a touch of vanilla.

The palate is fresher but it is also woodier too! Like the nose it opens with boiled sweet sherry. A little more peat is noticeable on the palate and the spices are a touch grittier. However it becomes quite nutty with hints of dark chocolate on the middle and as the oak begins to bitter the dried fruit cake and sherry notes return to counter. The bitterness sort of wins out in the end and leaves a powdery/ spicy cocoa finish.

Tomatin Cu Bocan ‘Limited Edition’ Virgin Oak 46%

Tasted: Feb 2015

A stunning nose of dusty and earthy peat with hints of fresh lime, rose water, pear, pineapple, melon and gritty oak. Very spicy – pure cinnamon and a touch of fresh herbs, The oak adds a touch of cream soda, fresh wood shaving and white chocolate. Superbly complex with all the elements in perfect harmony.

The palate opens with pecans in toffee and chunky vanilla interspersed with notes of fresh apple, lemon and lime. Hints of pineapple, barley, cinnamon sticks, herbal rye-like notes and light sweet peat follow. Long and citric with the herbal spice, warm vanilla and cinnamon  lingering and a light peat after-taste. Stunning stuff!

Tomatin Cu Bocan Limited Edition Bourbon Oak 46%

Tasted: Sept 2015

Estery and fruity with perfumed pineapple chunks, apricot and plenty of taught American oak, which is quite prominent but not overpowering. Very juicy with hints of sweet smoke, banana, barley, acacia and vanilla.

The palate opens with the soft, earthy barley and subtler fruits, which is down to the oak being more creamier, however hints of green apple, herbs and fragrant, sweet peat smoke come through. Although the oak is pretty grippy the fruit is doing its job well and balancing. Long and juicy with lingering herbal barley and drier oak notes. Very impressive.

Tomatin Cu Bocan 2005 (11 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Sherry

Dist: 2005 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Aug 2016

The nose opens with the American oak in all it’s vanilla and toffee’d glory, followed by taught, granity, but sweet apple and honey. Beneath are some subtle sherry notes and with time, sweet smoke, heather, dark chocolate and earthy peat.

The palate is full and vanilla’d and toffee’d with dark chocolate, baked sherry fruit and spice. The sherry comes through with a rich, supple sweetness on the middle but it’s balanced by the granity character of the spirit. Long with a touch of sweet smoke, honey and Highland heather notes. Lovely, warming sherrywood spice after-taste.

Tomatin Cu Bocan 1988 (28 year old) 51.5%

Bourbon and sherry matured unpeated spirit, finished in ex-Islay (Ardbeg) casks.

Dist: 1988 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: June 2016

A lovely, mature and fruity nose, which opens with the dusty American oak, followed by vibrant citrus, juicy kumquat, tangerine and apricot. A touch of rose petal, herbal sherry and slightly woody peat appears along with some late earthy peat and dunnage.

The palate is full, ultra soft and barley’d with hints of vanilla and subtle sherry notes. Layered and spicy with the dry peat coming through, ably emphasised by the alcohol. Subtly salty with a long, coffee, dark chocolate and dunnage finish. It does end a little on the dry side but the rich, spicy fruit offsets. 

Tomatin Cu Bocan 1988 (28 year old) 51.5%

Re-Tasted: July 2016

Nose: Chunky and herbal (refill sherry cask?) with boiled sweets, barley and a touch of honey. It becomes quite fragrant with time and hints of coffee, dried fruit, heather and earth appear.

Palate: Chunky and foursquare with again what appears to be a refill sherry herbal character. Malty and intense on the middle with alcohol boosted spice and hints of coffee and earth.

Finish: Long and remaining herbal with a tongue tingling spicy finish and a late, brief hint of smoke.

Conclusion: Now, that’s a chunky, coffee’d malt. Who needs a breakfast coffee when you can have this? 

Tomatin Cu Bocan 1989 (24 year old) 53.2%

Bourbon Casks 37470. 37471 and 37472

Dist: June 1989 Btl: Mar 2014/ Tasted: Apr 2014

Lightly smoked aromas of herbal-peat with a slightly medicinal twang. A good depth of trademark sweet fruit – pear and apricot sits behind. Hints of warm spice, honey and citrus come through along with some lightly dusty, mature oak. A lovely nose!

The palate is fuller and sweeter, opening with some tart grapefruit and the sawdusty oak. Beautifully balanced with oodles of lightly coffee accented honey. Gently smokes with some earthy peat appears as the oils build on the middle along with the alcohol. Superb intensity with the peat just a whisper. Long, fruity finish with lingering dusty spices.

With water the nose becomes maltier and dustier. Less peaty but lightly floral now with the orange notes becoming wonderfully juicy and liquidy. Late notes of tar and burnt heather emerge. The palate shows more of the sweet barley and honey. Again less peat, but the honey is beautifully luscious. Spicier too, with clove and cinnamon notes. Still quite earthy and finally a little medicinal note creeps in and lingers.