"Their cask selection was top-notch, I have to confess, until know I never had any Tomatin whisky, a shame, I realise that now..."
(Photo from Whiskybase)
Tomatin Distillery has been operative since 1897, gradually growing towards one of the largest malt distilleries in the 1970s. After its second bankruptcy in 1986 during the dramatic downfall of Scotland’s distilleries, the survival of Tomatin was ensured by Japanese investors Takara Shuzo and Okura & Co. Both were formerly major customers of Tomatin’s whisky and are still the current owners. Since then it has been slowly, but steadily moving forward into a small and quality-rich distillery. In 2004, the fist single malt was released, followed by the first peated malt in 2013. Nowadays, it seems that more whisky enthusiasts are finding the distillery, apparently also helped by a much better selection of good casks for maturation. They described themselves as “the softer side of the Highlands“.
At first it appears fairly quiet, but after I gave it some time, I get biscuits, sweet barley, fresh and dried apricots, honey and beer. It all has a very natural vibe to it. Then comes the sherry cask into the mix with sweet cherries, dark chocolate cream, along with a hint of leather. The whole is round, but certainly not boring, and in fact in a modest way quite complex. It is not shouting and screaming, in stead you find yourself in a warm conversation. I also find some red apples, cappuccino cream, cacao, roasted almonds, and roasted coffee beans (water) This makes it slightly softer, and the sherry influence goes more towards chocolate milk and dried figs, while there are also multigrain toast, barley, and honey.
A good blonde beer. You know those you can get from a quality small scale brewer. Oh this is a very nice start. Then it evolves with more sherry influence bringing out cacao dust, cappuccino and dried figs. (water) Again, this makes it slightly softer, but that doesn’t harm the complexity, in fact it brings out new sides. There are soft raisins, toast, sunflower seeds, a mix of different kinds of muesli, and tangerines. Lovely.
First I have to confess, until know I never had any Tomatin whisky. A shame. I realise that now… but I promise I will make that up! This 18-year-old version was very much to my liking. If you want a smooth easy-going, friendly older single malt, but do not want it to be boring or completely cask-driven. Well, this could be something for you. Very well composed, and I do agree that their cask selection and maturation was top-notch.
A big thanks to for the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •