Whisky Advocate

Review: Tomintoul 33 year old

December 16th, 2009

I just realized that it’s been a few day since I posted up a review. Here’s a new one, launching in the U.S. in 2010.

Tomintoul 33-Year-old_2009Tomintoul, 33 year old, 43%, $290
Younger Tomintoul whiskies are fairly straight-forward, unassuming whiskies. Older expressions show more depth. What they all seem to have is a remarkable balance. Moreover, this whisky and its predecessor, the 27 year old, are surprisingly delicate and nimble for their age. This is an elegant whisky, with a toffee foundation, creamy vanilla, nougat, light summer fruits, a kiss of molasses and gentle spice (cinnamon, mocha). Soft finish. Very pleasing.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 89

10 Responses to “Review: Tomintoul 33 year old”

  1. Gal says:

    for 290 dineros, i’d expect more than a pleasing dram…
    it should be wicked!

  2. John Hansell says:

    Gal, I CAN say that those who do purchase it will enjoy it. It’s one of those whiskies that’s very inoffensive.

  3. Mark says:

    I suppose for $290 we should expect quite remarkable inoffensiveness.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Mark, perhaps I didn’t choose the best wording. What I was trying to say is that some whiskies (i.e. really smoky ones) are more difficult to embrace. This whisky is at the other end of the spectrum in that regard.

  5. Mark says:

    No worries, of course. Your description conveyed what you meant. “Inoffensive” just made me smile in relation to the price.

  6. Todd says:

    John, Tomintoul as well as a number of other Speyside whiskies (like Strathisla) are quite light in flavor and body – and dare I say, inoffensive when they are young, but have the potential to age very well into their thirties and even older. I’ve pondered this and guessed it was in large part to good cask selection. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  7. John Hansell says:

    Todd, I do think it’s part of good cask selection, and proper cask management. I also think that–at least recently–the cask selection has benefited from oversight by Lorne Mackillop. (I am assuming he is involved.) Lorne sure knows how to make a balanced whisky (one just needs to taste a few Mackillops to see what I mean), and that’s one key characteristic of recent Tomintoul bottlings.

  8. Red_Arremer says:

    How does it compare to the 27 yo, John?

  9. John Hansell says:

    Red, I didn’t do them side-by-side, but the seem very similar in personality to me. If you liked the 27, you will enjoy the 33.

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