Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies come to life and fade away. What care I how time advances; I am drinking ale today. - Edgar Allan Poe
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David WishartWe try and keep an interesting mix of non-chill filtered whiskies and we are deeply indebted to David Wishart whose book Whisky Classified comes highly recommended and has allowed us to use his notes to add more detail to each whisky description. The book is available from behind the bar and you're welcome to have a look.  It details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's! Have a read and you'll understand the letters (in brackets) after each whisky from Tullibardine (A) to Ardbeg (J)!

The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process.

How do you drink yours?  Everyone's preference differs, personally I choose to add a drop of water to release the esters that would otherwise never surface and so enjoy a fuller and flavoursome experience.  I wouldn't add ice as that clouds the taste buds and drinking a neat 46%abv+ whisky is not for me.  I'll not take issue with how you like yours though!  Steve

Tomatin 18yo (C) PDF Print E-mail
Reviews Whisky - Whisky - on now

Image

Tomatin is Gaelic for "hill of the juniper bushes", which describes its pretty setting high in the Monadh Liath mountains.  It was built during the Victorian boom of 1897 and expanded from its original 2 stills to 23 stills by 1974. It was then Scotland's largest malt whisky distillery, capable of producing 13 million litres of alcohol a year, but this is no longer the case since some of the stills have been removed.

TomatinThe history of Tomatin can be traced back to the 15th century when drovers would rest here on their journey to market to fill up their whisky flasks from a still alongside the Old Laird's House. While most of the buildings date from the 1970s, some from the original distillery have been retained, including a 19th century dunnage warehouse with blackened stone walls and an earthen floor.

Tomatin is a community as well as a distillery. It is one of the last distilleries to provide housing for its staff and around 25 families live on its 140 acre estate. They form the core of the workforce. It can feel quite remote, living 315 metres above sea level in the mountains, and this sense of isolation contributes to the character of Tomatin by helping to instil a strong sense of family, loyalty, friendship and trust in this unique community.

The distillery has a long and distinguished heritage of producing high quality malt whisky. The workforce takes whisky distilling very seriously indeed - some are the 5th generation of their families to work here. As a team they take pride in their community and in the traditions of distilling. And this pride, together with the passion which is evoked by the heritage, has evolved into an almost tangible spirit of ownership. The local people behind the malt provide it with its Highland pedigree.

Here's what they have to say about it...

Tomatin Distillery, home of the finest Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky, is located in the Monadhliath Mountains just south of Inverness, capital of the Highlands of Scotland. Established in 1897, Tomatin (to rhyme with satin) is also one of the highest distilleries in Scotland at 315 metres above sea level.

The soft waters of the Alt-na-Frith (Free Burn) which run clear and pure through the Monadhliath Mountains help to create a Highland Malt with delicate flavours, yet a rich and mellow style. Its undoubted quality and consistency make for a truly fine dram; a proud testimony to the art of distilling.

This world class malt has been aged for a minimum of 18 years and married for a period in distinctive Spanish Oloroso sherry casks to produce an exquisite whisky. This non chill filtered whisky is packed full of flavour and has a velvety smooth mouth feel.

Or so the Tomatin web site says, they go on...

Aroma - Delicious sweet sherry bursts up you, and plateaus with undertones of fresh apples, cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup and a hint of smoky heather.

Palate – Sweet and honeyed at first, with an oaky edge. Develops in the mouth with a bite of citrus and a hint of dark chocolate.

Finish – Long, sweet and slightly dry.

Casks – Initial maturation in refill American oak casks, married in Oloroso sherry butts prior to bottling.

88, JIM MURRAY'S WHISKY BIBLE 2012:"What a well-mannered malt. As if it grew up in a loving, caring family and behaves itself impeccably from first nose to its last whimpering finale"

 

Click MORE for tasting notes...

The following tasting notes by Steve Marquis...

Whisky: Tomatin 18 years old
Cluster C
Bottle by Producer
Region: Highland
Distillery: Tomatin
Age:18 years old
Strength: 46% vol
Colour: Rich Gold
Chill-Filtered: No
Cask: Mixture of ex-bourbon hogsheads and finished in Oloroso sherry casks.
Nose: Aromatic and honeyed sweetness, fruit cake.
Taste: Medium bodied and sweet, rich fruit cake, honey, spice.  With a little water a very smooth honeyed sip.
Finish: Long and satisfying with a sweet liquoricy and sherried finish.

Steve, Fred and Tania's nose!
5/5/2014

Flavour

Intensity
Body bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Sweetness bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Smoky
Medicinal
Tobacco
Honey bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Spicy bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Winey bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Nutty bellcolourtiny.jpg
Malty bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Fruity bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
Floral bellcolourtiny.jpgbellcolourtiny.jpg
From Whisky Classified
& Whisky Analyst


 

 

 

keyDavid Wishart's book Whisky Classified details whisky from the perspective of flavour and not area, it also helps you choose a single malt whisky that suits your palate, not someone else's! 

The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they taste. Many distilleries today can produce a variety of flavours, peatiness (or lack of it) and this book guides the reader through the process.  The following is a key to the cluster groups used within the book and on our website.  If you lookup your own favourite whisky in th ebook and find what cluster it is in you are bound to find some equally enjoyable whiskies in the same and adjacent clusters that will suit your palate.  Here is a summary of the clusters...

A - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey and spicy notes.
B - Full bodied, sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, floral and malty notes, some honey and spice evident.
C - Full bodied, medium sweet, pronounced sherry with fruity, honey, nutty and smoky notes.
D - Quite full bodied and sweet, fruity, floral and nutty notes, fairly spicy, hint of smoke.honey and spicy notes.
E - Medium bodied, medium sweet with fruity, honey and winey notes, and a whiff of smoke and spice.
F - Quite full bodied, sweet and malty with fruity, spicy and smoky notes.
G - Light, sweet and honeyed, with floral, fruity and spicy notes, mostly unpeated, an aperitif style.
H - Very light, sweet and malty, fruity and floral, an aperitif style.
I - Medium bodied, medium sweet, quite smoky, some medicinal notes, spicy, fruity and nutty.
J - Full bodied, dry, pungent with peat smoke and medicinal notes, some spice, malt and fruit in the background and a hint of polished leather or libraries.

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This site is authored by Steve Marquis for the Blue Bell Inn

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