Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: Yes
Owner: Takara Shuzo Corp.
Average price: € 44.00
Official website: www.tomatin.com
A Highland distillery named after the town where it resides, 315 metres above sea level, making it one of the highest in Scotland (fishing at random, any Scottish distillery is definitely ‘one of the most’ of something!).
Founded in 1897 on a site where more or less legal whisky production is thought to date back as far as the 16th century, the distillery was initially named Tomatin Spey Distillery Co Ltd.
It was reborn in 1909, losing the Spey from its name, under new ownership, which over the years invested heavily in the company and continued to expand, so much so that in the 1970s it reached a production of 12 and a half million litres and 23 stills, being able to boast the title of Scotland’s largest distillery.
But the crisis of the 1980s also hit this colossus, pushing it to close in 1985, only to be reborn just the following year in Japanese hands (the first time in Scotland), which still own it today.
The whiskies produced by Tomatin were mostly intended for blends, such as Antiquary and Talisman, while in relatively recent times it has relaunched its core range, which currently includes 12, 14, 18, 30 and 36 year olds and two NAS, Legacy and Cask Strength, plus various special and limited editions and an annual peated version, Cù Bòcan.
Warm biscuits and malt greet the nose, along with vanilla, caramel, toffee, and a wave of honey. Very sweet and lovely, with this candy shop soul infused with ripe fruit (mango, yellow peach, apricot) and brown sugar, very welcoming and caloric. A distinct herbaceous note curbs the diabetic explosion.
And it’s the herbaceous profile that makes its way to the palate, very fresh and clean, at times balsamic, with a more subdued sweetness expressed by sultanas, ripe fruit, honey, orange peel and malt, which gives warmth and a hint of saltiness. Less expressive than the nose, but more balanced.
The finish is medium, herbaceous and saline, slightly spicy with honey and sultanas.
A nice introductory whisky, not too complex, easily affordable (even as a price) but without being anonymous or flat, an effective expression of the Highlands for those who want to start discovering them.