This 44 year old was matured in oloroso casks before being bottled at cask strength in May 2016. Mellow, sherried fruit on the nose, with rose hips, vanilla fudge, almond, honey, and slightly earthy spices. The fragrant palate features an intense blast of ripe fruit, caramel, and sweet spices, while resin develops in time. The medium-length finish offers plain chocolate, raisins, and prunes, with no negative tannins. One of the best Tomatins to date.
Aged in a refill American oak cask. Quite lively for its age, and the oak (surprisingly and happily) plays a supporting role rather than dominating. Creamy and mouth-coating, with vanilla wafer, coconut cream pie, caramel, nougat, and bright fruit (sultana, apricot, tangerine, and pineapple in syrup). Soothing finish. A very nice whisky. (Not available in the U.S.)£450
Significantly darker than the rest, well-balanced, and palate-coating. Softer, not as intense or as dry as the 30 year old. Creamier too, with subtle, yet exotic notes of tropical fruit and exotic spices. There is a point at which ultra-aged spirits -- whether they are whisky, rum, tequila, or brandy -- find a common ground. What they lose in identity, they gain in intrigue and layers of subtle complexity (if properly matured). This whisky fits into that category. Contemplative and ethereal in nature.
This expression has been finished for an unspecified period in first-fill bourbon barrels. The nose is floral, with gentle spices, honey, developing mangos and apricots, with vanilla ice cream, plus coconut. Sweet and smooth on the palate, with tropical fruits, more vanilla, and honey, plus old leather, and developing plain chocolate. The finish is long and drying, with slightly astringent oak and wood spices. (600 bottles for the U.S.)
Tomatin released this 28 year old expression under its Cù Bòcan label. This cask strength variant was matured in refill hogsheads and refill sherry butts that previously contained heavily-peated Islay single malt. The nose is sweet and fruity, with apples and pears, background vanilla, and sweet, light smoke. The palate is voluptuous and sherry-sweet, with chili peppers and subtle, earthy peat smoke. The finish is slowly drying, with persistent spice, nuts, and smoke. (2,200 bottles) £200
Distilled in 2003, this expression spent a decade maturing in bourbon barrels before a further 5 years in first-fill Portuguese moscatel wine barriques. It was bottled without chill-filtration. The nose offers fragrant spices and red apples sprinkled lightly with white pepper. Very fruity on the supple palate, with strawberries-and-cream notes, background citrus, almonds, and slightly musty oak. Black pepper and figs in the medium-length finish.
A new, beefed-up version of the 18 year old, with a higher alcohol level and (seemingly) more sherry influence. I must say that I really enjoyed the previous expression, rating it an 87 for its roundness and elegance. I like this one too, and its bold demeanor. Whether you like it or its predecessor comes down to preference and mood. Notes of toffee apple, pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, date nut cake, ripe fruit, and roasted nuts, all dusted with cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa.
Tomatin has introduced a permanently-available 36 year old expression, and the first batch comprises 800 bottles. Matured in a combination of bourbon and oloroso sherry casks, this expression has not been chill-filtered. Milk chocolate and vanilla on the early nose, with background apricots, malt, and ginger. Ultimately citrus fruit and sherry. Good mouth-feel, lively sweet fruits, cloves, and more ginger on the palate. Long in the finish, drying slowly to fruity licorice and plain chocolate.
Aged in a refill sherry puncheon, and the sherry is evident in appearance and on the palate. Soft and sweet, with caramel-coated mixed nuts, toffee apple, rhum agricole, currant (red and black), plum, cinnamon, and surprising brisk mint (especially toward the finish). A pleasing, non-aggressive expression of a mature, sherried whisky. (Not available in the U.S.)£340
Douglas Laing Director’s Cut (distilled at Tomatin) 45 year old, 51.6%
Single Malt Scotch | $353
This veteran example of Tomatin was distilled in November 1967 and matured for 45 years in refill butt #9315. The outturn was
175 bottles. Uncompromising dark sherry and treacle notes on the fruity nose, along with gunpowder tea. Big, old sherry notes on the full palate, with raisins, sultanas, and a sprinkling of black pepper. Fruity, notably spicy, and not too drying for its age in a relatively supple finish. £230
Fuller in body, deeper and more complex than the 12 year old (as would be expected). Sweeter fruits (honey-laced citrus, lemon gum drops, and ripe peach) and rum notes marry nicely with dried spice (cinnamon, vanilla, ginger). Calming finish. An intelligent use of sherry cask aging.
Bold and spicy, but with enough backbone to handle it. Surely the most intense of the bunch overall. (The 25 year old is dry on the palate -- especially on the finish -- but the 30 year old challenges you the throughout.) There’s plenty of oak here, imparting leather, resin, and dried spice notes (cinnamon, clove, vanilla), but it is rescued by sherried fruit, honeyed citrus, and toffee. A powerful dram.
This vintage expression from Tomatin has been matured in a mix of bourbon and port casks, and is being released in batches. The first comprises 2,500 bottles. The soft, fragrant nose offers strawberries, apricots, honey, and caramel, with a final hint of dry port. Fruit and caramel notes carry over from the nose onto the palate before dark chocolate appears, along with a suggestion of smoke. Subtle oak and ginger in the lengthy finish.
Tomatin launched the peated Cù Bòcan expression last year, and follows it with a vintage variant, the result of “…a rare and unintentional production of peated whisky at the distillery on 7th June 1989.” Three bourbon casks yielded 1,080 bottles. Ripe apples and aerosol furniture polish, with a vanilla and sweet woodsmoke backdrop on the nose. Full-bodied, with intense, sweet fruit notes on the palate, and a heathery, smoky kick. Smoky spice and nutty flavors in the ultimately drying finish. £200
This rested in bourbon barrels for almost 18 years until May 2013 when it was transferred to oloroso sherry hogsheads for a prolonged period of finishing. Big, waxy, warm leather notes on the nose, then dried fruit and machine oil. The palate is smooth, with cinnamon, cloves, sherry-soaked raisins, and dates. Spicy leather, plain chocolate, and slightly tannic oak in the very lengthy finish (1,800 bottles) £100
Tomatin has released a limited edition (5,400) pack comprising two 350ml bottles, each containing a vatting of whisky distilled in 1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002, and 2006. One was matured in bourbon barrels (see below); this one in sherry casks. Initially savory on the nose, then warm leather, sherry, and glacé cherries. Very smooth on the palate with soft spices, which increase in intensity. Black treacle and Seville oranges. Peppery treacle and old oak in the finish. £100
This is the third in a trilogy of limited releases from Tomatin, featuring the different cask types used to mature components of the standard, lightly peated Cù Bòcan variant. It follows Sherry Edition and Virgin Oak expressions. Initially, crisp green apples on the nose, then developing vanilla and caramel. Sweet, smoky apple and cinnamon. Soft and sweet on the early palate, with quite dry smoke evolving along with dark spices. Licorice and aniseed in the finish, with a citric tang. £50
Mashy peat notes on the early nose, then sherry, vanilla, and white pepper. Mouth-coating, with new leather and sweet spices on the palate. Gentle smokiness and black coffee gradually come to the fore. The finish is medium in length, with sweet, nutty peat which gradually dries.
Initially drier on the nose than the Fino expression, then caramel appears, along with milk chocolate and vanilla. More pronounced leathery notes than the Fino; fuller bodied and fruitier on the palate, with the fruit developing a salty tang. Lingering salty fruit and spices in the finish, with final dark chocolate.
Full sherry and old leather on the nose. Dried fruits, and finally a hint of meat extract. Rich, sweet, and sherried on the palate, with nutty spices. Medium to long in the spicy finish, with black currant and raisin notes.
The latest release from Tomatin distillery is a limited edition (3,150 bottles) 15 year old that has been matured in a combination of second-fill bourbon barrels and tempranillo wine casks (the grape of full-bodied Spanish reds like those from Rioja). The nose offers fruit cocktail and salted popcorn, while milk chocolate, vanilla, and nutty caramel notes emerge. Soft chocolate, bananas, and autumn berries on the slightly peppery palate. The finish is nutty, with lingering spice, peppery oak, and finally a lengthy, creamy sensation.
This portwood finish from Tomatin was matured for some 13 years in bourbon casks before being transferred for a final period of aging in Portuguese tawny port pipes, which had matured port for between 30 and 40 years. Initially reticent on the nose, with soft fruit notes, honey, and toffee, turning to cherry cough lozenges. Gently spiced on the nutty palate, with peaches and Cherryade. The finish is medium in length and always fruity.
The latest vintage expression of Tomatin’s peated Cù Bòcan was aged in a mix of bourbon and sherry casks. Fishy smoke on the nose, with ripe red apples, toffee, milk chocolate, and malt. Creamy mouthfeel; ripe pears in peat smoke, sweet spices. White pepper, plain chocolate, and a lick of licorice in the relatively long and lively finish. (11,400 bottles)
Cù Bòcan is the lightly-peated variant of Tomatin single malt, and while most Cù Bòcan is matured in a combination of sherry, bourbon, and virgin oak casks, this expression was exclusively aged in virgin oak. Fragrant on the nose, with lemon, lanolin, vanilla, poached pears, and peppery rye notes. Rich spice and vanilla on the palate, zesty and warming, with apple pie, and caramel. The finish is medium in length, with spiced fresh oak. (Worldwide except U.S.) £50
The nose opens with savory notes. Richer, more fragrant and profound sherry than is present in the Fino or Manazanilla expressions. Full-bodied, with big, musty sherry notes and Seville oranges on the palate, plus lots of spice. Gum-tingling spices, with sultanas and dates in the finish.
Named after a mythical hellhound that is said to stalk the area around Tomatin distillery, Cù Bòcan is lightly peated and matured in a combination of virgin oak, bourbon, and sherry casks. Just 60,000 liters are produced each year. Lemonade and coconut on the early nose, with developing almonds. Slightly earthy, with soft smoke. Rich, full mouthfeel, malt and honey, with the smoke more evident now, plus cinnamon and cloves. Nutty. Lingering oak and dry peat smoke in the finish.
Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice 1997 (distilled at Tomatin), 46%
Single Malt Scotch | $92
Matured in refill bourbon barrels, this Tomatin is softly floral on the nose, with sweet fruit spices, pineapple, vanilla, and honey. The palate is fresh and fruity, with cream, milk chocolate, and nutty spice. Fruity to the end, notably ripe apples and red berries, plus more milk chocolate before slightly drying oak notes develop. £70
Tomatin Legacy has been matured in a combination of bourbon and virgin oak casks, and after an initial release in Europe, worldwide availability will follow. Honey and malt on the nose, melons; fragrant and mildly herbal. White pepper and ultimately a whiff of treacle. Fresh and lively on the sweet, fruity palate, with tinned pineapple, cake mix, and more pepper. Quite dry in the medium length finish, with a suggestion of chili. £26
Initially aged in bourbon barrels, this expression was transferred into Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks in March 2011 for additional maturation. Musty wine notes on the early nose soon become red berries and vanilla. Supple on the palate, with big red berry notes, plus honey and ginger. Lingering ginger and raspberries in the finish, drying to dark chocolate (2,520 bottles) £70
This 9 year old bottling has been fully matured in Caribbean rum barrels. Quite delicate on the nose, with wet grass, then emerging coconut and whipped cream. Slick on the palate, with an instant tropical fruit hit—ripe banana and pineapple—plus more cream, cinnamon, and hazelnut. Spicy and nutty in the finish, with a final tropical fruit tang (6,600 bottles) £40
The bourbon cask-matured partner to the Sherry Matured bottling (see above), this expression similarly comprises a vatting of whisky distilled in 1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002, and 2006. Both Contrasting Casks are offered in non-chill filtered format. Apple pie, with buttery caramel, milk chocolate, and coconut on the nose. Zesty spices on the early palate, then custard, contrasting lemon, and a note of char. Spicy fruits, black pepper, and more char in the finish. £100
Exclusive to North America, this bottling was matured in bourbon hogsheads for 9 years, and then finished in French oak casks for a further 3 years. The casks originally contained red wine from the Bacalhoa winery. Before use by Tomatin they underwent a de-char/re-char process. Peaches, vanilla, milk chocolate, and ginger on the nutty nose, with new-mown hay. Full-bodied, with toffee apples, black pepper, and cloves. Lingering warm spices in the finish. (12,000 bottles)
This NAS cask strength expression of Tomatin was matured in a mix of bourbon and virgin American oak casks. The nose is sweet and fragrant, with vanilla, cinnamon, and developing coconut ice. Silky on the palate initially, softly spiced, with vanilla toffee, pears, and apples; then the spices intensify, introducing a hint of chili. Drying in the lengthy, spicy, slightly herbal finish. (282 bottles; exclusive to Robertson’s, Pitlochry, Perthshire) £55
Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs’ Choice 1996 (distilled at Tomatin), 43%
Single Malt English Whisky | $91
Gordon & MacPhail’s 1996 Tomatin was matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. Malt, fruit fondant, black pepper, then late vanilla and fudge on the nose. Peaches and apricots on the palate, with vanilla and white pepper. The finish is spicy and medium in length, with lasting orchard fruits. £57
The nose is nutty and earthy, with dry sherry, cooking apples, vanilla, and emerging icing sugar. Finally, a hint of sea salt. Silky in the mouth, with lively spices, Jaffa oranges, muted sherry, and mixed nuts. The finish is medium in length, nutty, with spice and persistent citrus fruit.
Selected by distillery manager Douglas Campbell, currently in his 50th year at Tomatin. It has been matured in a combination of American and European oak casks, and just 200 cases have been released. Citrus fruits on the nose, notably oranges, and apricots, with a hint of damp soil. More fruit on the palate, orange wine gums, ginger, and gentle oak. Long and slowly drying in the finish, with encroaching aniseed and tannins.
A new expression in the portfolio. Quite fruity, with prominent honey-tinged citrus peel, nutty toffee, nougat, and vanilla fudge, leading to a gripping, firm, dry oak resin finish. Deeper and bolder than the 12 year old expression.
The Exclusive Malts (distilled at Tomatin) 10 year old 2004 (cask #2645), 57.4%
Single Malt Scotch | $95
Matured solely in refill sherry casks, this whisky has a light, fruit-forward nose with nectarine, honey, malt, and a touch of spice. The entry is softer than you’d expect for the proof and it presents the fruit at the nose, along with salt and a dash of black pepper. The spice takes over in the mid-palate along with some heat, really throwing off the balance established in the entry. A light finish closes out a slightly disjointed taste experience. (U.S. only)
This is Tomatin’s first cask strength offering, and is also non-chill filtered. The initial batch of 15,000 bottles was released in February, and was matured in a mix of oloroso and bourbon casks. The nose showcases ginger, malt, Jaffa oranges, almonds, and melon, while the pleasingly viscous palate offers caramel, vanilla, warm leather, and chocolate-coated lime creams. Long and gently spicy in the drying finish. (Worldwide except U.S.) £50
This bottling celebrates distillery manager Douglas Campbell’s 50 years of service at Tomatin, and includes casks from 1967, 1976, 1984, and 1990, along with a peated Tomatin from 2005. The nose is initially slightly musty, with faint peat smoke, sweetening to mild vanilla, with new leather and peaches in time. Full-bodied, relatively dry on the palate, with the European oak casks in the ascendancy here. Raisins, dark chocolate, and licorice. Medium to long in the finish, drying, with spicy oak.
Enjoyable creamy texture and medium-bodied. Gently sweet notes of light toffee and vanilla custard, especially towards the front of the palate. Nutty too, with some sultana in the background. Gentle oak notes towards the finish. A very clean, well-balanced whisky that’s very easy to drink but also takes few risks.
Plenty of citrus zest, along with subtle pineapple and coconut on the nose. The palate begins with honeyed-malt sweetness, followed by the citrus fruit, but then quickly turns dry and resinous, with dried nuts and spicy oak on the finish. The intensity of the dryness on the finish surprised me and detracted from an otherwise well-rounded dram.