With three new expressions recently launched in the domestic market, Tomatin have followed up with another three releases, this time for the travel retail market. Again, as with the 2007 Caribbean Rum Cask release, it’s refreshing to see them being transparent with the youngest bottling here; an 8yo. This is backed up by a 15yo and at the top of the pile sits a 40yo. No messing about.
Matured in bourbon and sherry casks
Nose: Lemon oils, salty limes and daffodil stems, then vanilla and custard creams. Youthful, certainly, but pleasantly tropical and light.
Palate: Vanilla sponge cake, pink wafers, icing sugar, slightly nutty but very soft.
Finish: Sweet vanilla and light wood spice.
Matured in American Oak
Nose: Caramel barrels, toffee pennies and honeycomb followed by singed orange peel, glace cherries and cinnamon.
Palate: Buttered croissants, chocolate coated Brazil nuts, salted toffee and a honeyed sweetness. Rather gentle and more subdued than I expected.
Finish: Some dry fruits and faint wood spices.
Matured in Oloroso sherry casks
Nose: Multi-layered and very complex. Apricots, papaya and manuka honey to begin with. Then, cooked banana, plum pudding and cherry cake, followed by sandalwood, old books and dusty oak.
Palate: Initially, exotic spices fill the mouth, then there’s blackcurrants, blackberries, cherries, sultana cake, cinnamon swirls and Danish pastries. Underneath, there’s some dark chocolate and tea leaves. Very moreish.
Finish: Juicy oak and rich fruits along with linger exotic spices.
Overall: Three very good, and very different, whiskies. I appreciate the 8yo for what it is, and it’s great to see a brand doing something different and sending in a young age statement whisky into GTR rather than simply a 1L bottle of a core expression, or an eye-wateringly overpriced NAS. The 15yo is a crowd pleaser for those gifting from the departure lounge; it’s rounded, but it’s a rather “hollow sphere” – it ticks most of the boxes, but it’s all very quiet and subdued. The 40yo, understandably, is the showstopper. Very complex and extremely well-balanced. But for that, you pay the price. A credit card-melting price.