Google Contrasting Tomatins, a bright idea

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2016


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

March 17, 2016


Contrasting Tomatins, a bright idea

If there’s one brand – excuse me, one distillery - that conquered the hearts of many whisky enthusiasts lately, it’s well Tomatin. They’re also willing to educate drinkers, apparently, for example with new bottle kits that showcase the differences between various kinds of casks and maturations. Very smart! Let’s have two of them today, and then see if we find other Tomatins…

Tomatin 'Contrast Bourbon Matured' (46%, OB, 5,400 bottles, 2016)

Tomatin 'Contrast Bourbon Matured' (46%, OB, 5,400 bottles, 2016) Four stars Ha-ha! The labels smartly states the various vintages that have been used, that is to say 1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002 and 2006. A genuine multi-vintage bottling, like J.M do in rhum agricole. I think that would be even better with the proportions, having said that, or we’d always ‘feel’ that there’s much more 2006 than 1973. Or that there are only drops of 1973. But anyway, lets taste it… Colour: straw. Nose: fresh and crystalline, with pears, oranges, and pineapples on a bed of cut grass and a moderate vanillaness. Gooseberries. Love this purity, very well done so far. Mouth: indeed. Rather apples than pears this time, some angelica, more gooseberries, peaches, touches of pineapples again, and just drops of lemon juice. Frankly, this tastes pretty young, but it’s rather immaculate. I cannot not think of some dry chenin blanc from the Loire Valley. Good body, perfect strength. Finish: medium, not exactly zesty, but pure and fresh. Same kinds of fruits, with a grassier signature. Comments: oh this is smart! It’s going to be a must when temperatures rise, in a few weeks. SGP:551 - 87 points.

Tomatin 'Contrast Sherry Matured' (46%, OB, 5,400 bottles, 2016)

Tomatin 'Contrast Sherry Matured' (46%, OB, 5,400 bottles, 2016) Four stars and a half And this is the sherry version. Quite funnily, they’ve used the very same vintages as with the BB version. Colour: gold. Nose: not first fill. It’s very nice, but it hasn’t got the brightness of the bourbon. Having said that it’s quite subtle, with some tobacco and autumn leaves, and rather more overripe apples instead of fresh bright fruits. Like the whiffs of freshly brewed coffee that rise to our nostrils after a few minutes, as well as the obligatory walnuts. It catches up with the lovely bourbon! Mouth: … and overtakes it, thanks to a finer, more complex profile that hasn’t lost any of its fruity brightness. Dates, tobacco, grapefruits, apples, dried pears, dried bananas, a touch of leather, walnut wine… This is very excellent! Finish: medium to long – a little longer than that of the BB – with a perfect tobacco-ish and walnutty profile. Stays very clean. Comments: it’s the story of the tortoise and the hare. The sherry was a little less ‘immediate’, but it won eventually. By a thin margin! Anyway, what a great idea to have done this series! SGP:551 - 88 points.

PS: the excellent people at Tomatin’s have advised me to ‘blend’ both versions and to check the results. Quite bizarrely, I got smoke! And earth/mushroom, imagine. In fact, that worked a treat – am I not good? ;-)
But one question remains, where have the tropical fruits gone? It’s the same situation as with Benriach, or perhaps Bowmore or Laphroaig, these spirits used to be very ‘tropical’ until the mid to late 1970s, and then they lost their mangos and passion fruits. Why? But let’s check if an older Tomatin was well tropical, and we’re done.

Tomatin 34 yo 1976/2011 (46%, Mo Òr Collection, sherry butt, cask #4, 954 bottles)

Tomatin 34 yo 1976/2011 (46%, Mo Òr Collection, sherry butt, cask #4, 954 bottles) Five stars The outturn seems huge, but those were 50cls at 46% vol. and it was a butt. Colour: dark gold. Nose: tropical? You bet! This is ridden with ripe bananas, mangos, maracuja, and papayas. The sherry’s there, but it hasn’t got a lot to say in front of this tropical extravaganza. Raisins, perhaps? The whole’s perfect, and much less vulgar than you would think given the ueber-fruity profile. Mouth: a fruity bomb, and everything’s perfect. Multi-vitamin fruit juice, blood oranges, mango cream, cassata, white chocolate, and a wee bit of dried coconut. Perhaps a few sultanas too? Truly excellent, it would have just been even more ‘hyper-top-notch’ at a higher strength. Finish: medium, on pure tropical fruits with a little honey. Comments: high class, with sometimes something of Lochside. Flipside, these wonderful whiskies are so easy to drink that you need to use a cork locker. SGP:741 - 91 points.

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







Whiskyfun's Home
Whiskyfun's Facebook page Whiskyfun's Twitter page Whiskyfun's RSS feed