Tomatin 12yo (40%, OB, Bourbon and Sherry Casks)

Not so long ago, this was the new-look entry-level malt from Tomatin, but in the quickly changing Whisky-world and especially the trend of releasing Whiskies without an Age Statement (NAS), Tomatin issued Legacy and they priced thát one even lower than this already inexpensive 12yo. Names hardly add something to whisky and I would have loved to see Legacy being released as a 10yo or a 8yo. Now that would have been exciting! Together with the wind of naming Whiskies, I sense a wind that loves young whiskies!

Legacy was made with new oak casks mixed with Bourbon casks. This 12yo is a mixture of Bourbon and Sherry casks, so there should be a lot of difference between the two. Besides this, the 12yo is bottled at 40% ABV, and Legacy gets three points more, 43% ABV.

Color: Ochreous gold (Chewbacca golden hairdo).

Nose: Creamy and alcoholic. Leafy and quite woody. Hints of Sherry mustiness and just a little bit of soap. Estery and thick. It smells chewy (how is thát possible), as if you could sink your teeth into this one, (do I detect a meaty touch?). Lots of vanillin from the cask, toasted cask and toast (bread). Behind the creamy vanilla a lot of sweetness (anticipated).

Taste: Thick and actually pretty good. Woody and spicy, but noting like wood in an old Whisky. To me the wood part is pretty similar to that of the Legacy and especially in the taste both are not worlds apart. The difference being some Sherry casks, that were used for the 12yo. It’s more “dirty”, more spicy and a has a different kind of sweetness to it. Leafy. I can’t imagine the Sherry part being more than 20 to 30% of all the casks used. For a sweeter malt, it is pretty drinkable and certainly well made and it has good balance to boot.

The 40% ABV is all right, it really doesn’t need more than that for the market it targets, but the Whisky doesn’t need it too. I tasted this 12yo a few times at festivals (Thanks Alistair), but never at home in my “controlled” environment. The score didn’t change, but it is nice to concentrate on this for a bit. Again bang for your buck from Tomatin!

Points: 83

Thanks Jennifer for the sample!

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