Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Port
Added coloring: No
Owner: Takara Shuzo Corp.
Average price: € 54.00
Official website: www.tomatin.com
Let’s go back to Tomatin, with the 14 year old representing the distillery’s first port-finished whisky.
To be precise, 13 years were spent in ex-Bourbon casks and the last year in ex-Port “Tawny” casks, casks that have contained the wine for around fifty years.
This last detail isn’t insignificant, given that often the casks of this type used to refine or age whisky have contained Port for a very short time, sometimes almost only to be resold in Scotland, while in this case we are talking about casks that have worked a lot on wine!
Introduced in 2014, this expression replaced the 15 year old in the core portfolio and is precisely Tomatin’s first (and so far only) Port-aged expression, with the wine coming from the Symington family in the Douro Valley.
Whisky and Port don’t always go well together, so who knows if this time…?
Dark amber in the glass.
The nose is predominantly vinous, decidedly port-like: sultanas, pecans, red fruits, orange peel. Malt is very present in the form of butter biscuits, with time developing very warm scents of vanilla, caramel, a hint of nutmeg and a herbaceous undertone, all harmonious and delicate.
The mouthfeel is rather dry and warm, with chilli pepper and spices covering dark chocolate, ripe fruit (apricots, apples, red fruits), hazelnuts, candied orange and malt. A touch of anise and wood in the background. A precarious balance but one that holds up.
Medium-long finish of chilli, hazelnuts, orange peel and wood.
On the razor’s edge, you expect it to unravel at any moment, but it doesn’t. The contribution of the Portuguese wine casks is borderline invasive, well supported by the body of the whisky, but it reiterates how difficult the marriage remains.