There is a new Tomatin in town, and they’ve called it Legacy. No age statement on this one. First of all what does legacy exactly mean? Searching on-line I find this: anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor. We know this “Legacy” is aged in Bourbon and Virgin oak casks, so is this the way Whisky was made in the past? I will have to ask, but surely my interest in this Legacy has been aroused. maybe it’s not about the casks, but the way the distillate shines through?
Second thing i noticed is that it’s 43% ABV, making the 12yo the only one in the standard range this is 40% ABV. The rest is higher with 43% and 46%. Having said that, Tomatin placed this Legacy before the 12yo, simply by making it cheaper. Pretty neat.
Recently The Glenlivet released the Alpha, of which in a weeks time the true contents will be released. The Glenlivet used a huge social media ad campaign to aid its sale, whereas Tomatin did not. By now we do know that is also is made using Bourbon casks (first fill) and new wood (second fill). Alpha is 50% ABV. and costs 4 times as much as this Legacy. Let’s have a look…
Color: Light gold.
Nose: Clean and youthful, hints of mocha, caramel, toffee, but the hints don’t smell sweet. Wet new wood, freshly cut-down tree. tree sap (not resin!) and some nuttiness. Very toned down, no sharpness and only some spiciness from the wood but no burning alcohol of very young distillate. Very honest. Some vanilla and warm butter. Not bad!
Taste: Malty and half sweet. Wood and cardboard. Again wet fresh wood and tree sap, and again a very toned down profile, laid back. A hint of licorice and even an even smaller hint of tar. Not a very long finish. The virgin oak isn’t omni-present in this one so it doesn’t dominate. It’s not very sweet, but the sweetness is sugary. Good balance.
In the nose very different and younger from the Alpha. Extremely drinkable. This would be the lemonade in my lectern. The last bottle opened, but also the first one finished.
Alpha has the same color and is higher in ABV, smells spicier (older) and definitely more mature, the wood on the Legacy smells like a freshly cut down tree. Tastewise the Alpha comes across as older, spicier and bigger bodied, aided by the ABV. Conclusion: incomparable, the Whiskies are quite different and aimed at different people. Legacy is one to give some time to and feel what and aged whisky distillate really is. One to analyze, but also the easiest drinkable malt around. And it costs next to nothing to boot!
Thanks go out to Jennifer for providing me with this sample!