This is my last review of a Whisky from the standard range of Tomatins released by the distiller. The standard range comprises of Legacy, a 12yo, a 15yo, and last but not least, the 18yo. The age statement (or lack of it) not being the only difference. All are different in usage of casks:
- Legacy – New Oak Casks and Bourbon Casks (82 Points).
- 12yo – Bourbon & Sherry Casks (83 Points).
- 15yo – Bourbon Casks (?? Points).
- 18yo – Refill Bourbon Barrels with an Oloroso Sherry finish (87 Points).
So here we have the 15yo. This one is on paper the younger brother of the now sadly deleted 25yo. Both come from only Bourbon Casks. The new Tomatin is called Legacy, but the 25yo will turn out to be a Legend. But, and I can’t stress this enough, Tomatin 30yo, that’s even better imho!
Color: Light gold.
Nose: Spicy and clean. Sweetish and creamy. Hints of toasted oak and crushed fresh leaves. Nice toned down fruitiness. Cookie dough. It does remind me a bit of the 25yo (and some notes of the fruitiness remind me of the 30yo). Fruity ánd perfumy. Very aromatic example of Tomatin. Good balance.
Taste: Clean and warming, warm wood and caramel. Hints of licorice, vanilla and toasted wood. Very creamy and half sweet. Again very good balance. Dangerously drinkable.
These four whiskies are absolutely family of each other. Brothers and sisters of one another. But just as with people, there is a family resemblance, but most definitely have different characters. It’s not merely an older version of the previous example, no, all are meant to be different through usage of different casks. I guess all of them will have different likers (or dislikers if you don’t like the mean Tomatin profile).
So time to come clean, which one would I buy? Well, according to points the 18yo is the winner. It has a stunning nose and taste to match, but there is always a candidate everybody likes, isn’t there. I scored the 15yo one point lower than the 18yo, but I think the 15yo is a true and honest malt (just look at its color), and is definitely easier to drink than the 18yo. I had problems writing tasting notes, because the glass seemed always empty, how is that for drinkability! So if you are new to whisky or just enjoy a good malt, I would buy the 15yo to start with, if you’re somewhat more seasoned and able to appreciate the added notes of the Oloroso finish , I would recommend the 18yo. Legacy and the 12yo are both alright, and dirt cheap to boot, but not my personal first choice. So for me the 18yo and the 15yo are the ones to buy, and differ strongly enough from each other to get both 🙂
Thanks to Jennifer for sending me this sample.