Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New releases ... Tomatin Glenkeir Treasures

tomatin glenkeir treasuresTomatin is a distillery located between Inverness and Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. It is a large distillery that produces five million litres of whisky per year, but despite this remains one of Scotland's lesser known distilleries. This is due to the fact that around 80% of the whisky produced at Tomatin is used in a variety of blended whiskies including the Antiquary and Talisman ranges. The single malt range has been increased by the current owners, the Japanese owned Murubeni Group, and currently includes 12, 18, 25, 30 and 40 years old whiskies. Tomatin was the first Scottish whisky distillery to be owned by a Japanese company, when the Takara Shuzo Corporation saved it from liquidation in the mid 1980s.

The Glenkeir Treasures are a range of whiskies that are exclusive to and independently bottled by The Whisky Shop, the UK's biggest whisky retail chain. The Whisky Shop has 14 stores located in England and Scotland and this range is available in each shop or from the website www.whiskyshop.com. The whiskies have been specially selected and purchased, then temporarily stored in wooden casks in each store and filled by the staff instore into 50cl, 20cl and 10cl bottles, as shown in the image above. The whiskies are selected from a variety of distilleries and cover a spectrum of different flavours. This expression of Tomatin has recently joined the range and is bottled at 40% ABV.

The colour of this Tomatin is golden yellow and the nose is vibrant and fresh. There is lots of vanilla, caramel and fresh crisp green fruit present (think of pears and apples), as well as a hint of dried fruit (imagine sultanas especially) and some nuts (think of almonds). On the palate, this whisky is feels light and fresh with an initial sugary note that is reminiscent of caramel or burnt sugar. This is followed up a pleasant, crisp maltiness (think of barley grains), vanilla (this seems more exaggerated than on the nose and reminded us of vanilla essence or custard, rather than natural vanilla), nuts and the interesting combination of dried and crisp green fruit that was present on the nose. The sultana note is particularly pronounced. There is maybe just the tiniest hint of some peaty smoke also. The finish is short and sweet with the crisp maltiness, vanilla and dried fruit being the main features.

This Tomatin is quite basic in its structure but is a very pleasant and easy drinking dram that is refreshing and would be good for a whisky beginner. It offers great value, giving you the opportunity to try a whisky from a lesser known distillery at an affordable price, while being of good quality. It is sold in three sizes - 10cl, 20cl and 50cl - and these are priced at £8, £13 and £26 respectively, exclusively from The Whisky Shop chain of stores or www.whiskyshop.com.

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