This is the last of the Mohicans. Tomatin updated the label in 2009 and shortly after, by 2011 replaced it with the excellent 30yo. So now there is a gap between the 18yo and the 30yo. Surely Tomatin will fill this in with something else? What about a new style 25yo? Maybe at a higher proof? Nudge nudge, wink wink Stephen. The reason behind the axing of the 25yo is that they aren’t confident in making a whisky like this in a constant manner anymore. This 25yo is solely matured in Bourbon casks. Shortage of bourbon casks from the first half through the second half of the eighties? Now I know why Macallan has a shortage of good Sherry casks… Having tried a lot of Tomatins recently I was wondering where the (tropical) fruit comes from. Is it from the Sherry casks? No better place than this bottle to find that out…
Color: Full Gold.
Nose: Very waxy, and Peter Gabriel’s “Here comes the fruit”. Already some wood and toast. yes there’s the tropical fruit again, but in a different style than the new 30yo. This is darker, less obvious sparkling, happy fruit. No this has some added flavors. It has some smoke, toast and saltiness. Hidden wood. But through this darkness comes the estery and waxy fruit. It’s still the tropical stuff, just more heavy in style, maybe more masculine. After some breathing, the fruit is almost gone and it is more woody (cedar) and estery (and malts with a little smoke).
Taste: Pretty sweet at first with a lot of creamy chocolate, and perfect wood that has an aura of crisp fruits. In the background a little bit of acidity that gives this some liveliness. Passionfruit and mint in the finish. It’s passionfruit ice-cream to be exact. Also a slight hint of dried apricots and pear. Very elegant.
They were right to give this the black label, where the 30yo has a white label. It is a bit a stand-off between a devil (the 25yo) and an angel (the 30yo). This is a well-made, beautiful and very interesting brooding Tomatin. I’m very, very sorry to see this go, but at the same time I’m very happy to see the new 30yo coming. Still, I rather had them both into the fold.