For years, whisky from Tomatin distillery had completely passed me by. This wasn’t due to any sort of aversion towards the distillery’s output – it was just one of those whiskies that made little noise about itself, so had never really appeared on my radar.
That was until 2012’s Whisky Fringe when my whisky loving friend Steven Kersley (MUCH more about him in the coming months) and I spent a good half-hour with Tomatin’s Alistair Mutch, working our way through the distillery’s entire range. And what a range it was! Obviously the rest of the Whisky Fringe thought the same, as the distillery’s 30 year old went on to be voted ‘Whisky of the Fringe’ – beating over 300 other malts.
To my surprise, Alistair recognised me when I returned to the Whisky Fringe this year and introduced me to one of the distillery’s newest expressions – the Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish. It was my favourite bottling from the event, and so I’ve decided to make it my very first *drum roll* Whisky of the Week.
Added to the core range this year, the whisky has spent around 13 years in Bourbon oak barrels, followed by one year in selected Portuguese port pipes which had previously held Tany Port for between 30 and 40 years. The nose is very powerful, with handfuls of berries, apples, rich toffee and hint of vanilla. It glides over the palette beautifully with more fruity flavours, including apricots, mangos and strawberries, followed by a smooth and lingering finish.
You might have to go to a specialist whisky bar to find it, but with a bottle coming in at just under £50, it’s a great dram to have in your cupboard.