Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review - Tomatin 8, 15 and 40 years old

This trilogy of whiskies have been released by the increasingly popular Highland single malt brand of Tomatin and will be exclusive to the travel retail sector. All have age statements at 8, 15 and 40 years old. The three new whiskies will join two current one litre bottlings - the 12 years old and the peaty Cù Bòcan - in the range. They are available through travel retailers in Europe now, before being introduced in Asia and the USA shortly.

Tomatin is located in the Scottish Highlands, about half way between Aviemore and Inverness. It was founded in 1897 by a group of Inverness businessmen and was called Tomatin Spey. It only became Tomatin, the name of the local village, in 1907. Tomatin is currently owned by the Takara Shuzo Corporation, who purchased the distillery in 1986 after the previous ownership had been liquidated.  It has a current annual capacity of five million litres.

"The majority of Scotch brands have elected to present no-age statement for their travel retail ranges. Our collection of age statement whiskies provides a point of difference and provides an introduction to Tomatin for thousands of globe-trotters."
Stephen Bremner - Sales Director for Tomatin.

Our tasting notes

Tomatin 8 years old
The first is an 8 years old that has been matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks - this has been bottled at 40% ABV and will cost €35.

The colour is pale straw yellow and the nose is light, fresh and a bit feisty.  There are aromas of green apple, pear and spicy malted cereals, plus a hint of honey.  On the palate this lightness and freshness continues - there is plenty of the green apple and pear, which is backed up by the malted cereals.  There is also a dried grassy note in there and little initial sweetness.  This develops but remains understated - think of honey with some butterscotch and toffee.  Late hints of white chocolate, candied lemon and sultana appear.  The finish is short and very light.  Little remains beyond the feisty alcohol warmth.

Tomatin 15 years old
Next is the 15 years old, which is matured solely in American oak casks. This is bottled at 46% ABV and will retail for €55.

The colour is golden yellow and the nose is full of malted cereal and dried fruit aromas - think of cookie dough, sultanas and candied orange.  Underneath are further aromas of toasted cinnamon, vanilla, custard powder, toffee, stewed apple and butterscotch.  On the palate this whisky is soft and sweet initially - think of honey, golden syrup and fudge.  These mingle with dried fruit and wood spice notes that develop with time - imagine raisin, sultana, candied orange, cinnamon, all-spice and some earthy gingerbread.  Late hints of malty cereals add depth.  The finish is of decent length and increasingly earthy, especially once the sweeter notes fade.

Tomatin 40 years old
The final bottling is the super premium 40 years old, which has been matured in ex-Oloroso sherry casks. This is bottled at 43% ABV and will retail for €1,250.

The colour is deep gold with a hint of amber.  The nose is initially a little understated before opening up to reveal aromas of caramel, dark dried fruits, peach, golden syrup, candied pineapple and waxy furniture polish.  The palate is soft but highly expressive and becomes much drier and spicier with time.  There are immediate sweet notes of caramel, milk chocolate, dried fruits (raisins, mango, sultanas), fresh apricot and robust malted cereals.  Underneath are warming wood spices and a pinch of ginger and cedarwood.  The finish is long with the sweet and fruity notes fading slowly to leave plenty of woody and earthy elements fighting it out.

For more information about each of these new travel retail exclusive bottlings and any other whiskies from Tomatin, please visit

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