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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

May 23, 2014


A superb old Tomintoul and compadres

There’s an old official Tomintoul that’s relatively recent, a 1977 that should be good. Let’s try it, and then we may add one or two independent versions for good measure. But first, a little aperitif…

Tomintoul 11 yo 2001/2013 (53.9%, Whisky Spirits, Whisky Seasons)

Tomintoul 11 yo 2001/2013 (53.9%, Whisky Spirits, Whisky Seasons) Three stars and a half The colour’s very light, this youngster should display much distillery character. Colour: very pale white wine. Nose: it’s more or less new make, but I’m more and more fond of these genuine notes of malted barley, sour dough, porridge, lemons and apples while so many brands are betting on heavy American oak and its corollaries coconut and vanilla these days. So, like as Zuck would say, even if there’s nothing to write home about. With water: a clean farmyard, hay, grains, a pile of apples… Mouth (neat): as a youthful Middle-Scot, it’s perfect. Cherries, apples, drops of plum spirit, ale, oranges… What’s not like? And it’s got a nice body – a little hot I have to say. With water: more sweet barley goodness. Finish: not very long, but clean, sweet, fruity and barleyish. Comments: are cherries one of Tomintoul’s markers? Or was it just the yeast? Anyway, this is what I call a loyal and honest malt whisky. SGP:541 - 83 points.

Tomintoul 1977/2013 (54.9%, OB, sherry, cask #3691, 312 bottles)

Tomintoul 1977/2013 (54.9%, OB, sherry, cask #3691, 312 bottles) Five stars There was an official 1976 a few years ago that wasn’t too great because of a very low strength. This should be different… Colour: amber. Nose: oh! This baby starts very humidory (pfff…), with a lot of cedar wood, cigars, cocoa powder, touches of cloves, walnuts, cinnamon… It’s a superb oakiness – oak can be great when it’s perfect. The notes of unlit cigars never stops growing, which is even more perfect. Great! With water: swims like a champ. Grows more complex, even fuller, with touches of Cointreau, banana skin, more cigars, various cakes, gingerbread and such. Balance is perfect. There’s something that makes me think of the great Glenglassaughs 1972 that recently came out. Mouth (neat): thick, oily and very spicy, hinting at great quality European oak. Some ginger, cloves again, nutmeg, cardamom, all that around cigars again, dried fruits (but it isn’t fruitcake)y as such), some kind of very sweet curry… I really find this superb. Walnut wine, black tea, chestnut honey… and other beautifully tannic things. With water: once again, it takes water very well, with the lovely sweet spices stepping to the front. Finish: a medium length, with spicy cakes, cinnamon rolls and orange liqueurs. Also a little toffee. Works very well. Comments: a very, very great sherry cask, for a bigger whisky than other old Tomintouls I could taste. SGP:561 - 91 points.

Tomintoul 43 yo 1969/2012 (42.7%, The Whisky Cask, bourbon hogshead)

Tomintoul 43 yo 1969/2012 (42.7%, The Whisky Cask, bourbon hogshead) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: this is obviously more fragile, with more overripe fruits and light honey than in the OB, and maybe more aromatic herbs as well. Actually, it’s quite fit for its age, and I like these notes of peaches, peppermint, apricots, pollen, mint-flavoured tea Moroccan-style. There’s even touches of oriental pastries! Now, in my experience, these old Tomintouls can be a little weaker on our palates, let’s see… Mouth: indeed, this oldie’s really more fragile now, although it’s not overoaky. I find herbal teas such as chamomile, more apple juice, a little cinnamon, maybe ripe melons (just a thin slice), plums… But all that whispers a bit. Nice oranges, though. Also pineapples. In fact, I like it, it just needs time as it’s no instant hitter. Finish: a little short, but it’s clean and rather more honeyed. Comments: a light, but finally not too tired very old Tomintoul. Some would call it ‘contemplative’. SGP:641 - 87 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Tomintoul I've tasted so far







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