Tomatin 12yo 1997/2009 (57.1%, OB, First Refill Bourbon Barrel #4326, 244 bottles)

Here is another Tomatin, the tenth already if I’m not mistaken, but this time no obscure independent bottling, but an official bottling, yet not from standard range, but a limited release. Some sort of official bootleg so to speak. I hear this particular bottling was distributed in western Europe and Japan. Tomatins from the standard range that are from ex-Bourbon casks are quickly disappearing. The 25yo is no longer with us and who knows what will happen with the 15yo, the only true Bourbon casked Tomatin left.

Here we have a Tomatin that is 12 years old and comes from a refill Bourbon Barrel. You can’t get them more original than this, nor is the cask tampered with in a sense that the barrel is rebuilt as a Hogshead, nor has the distillery character been changed by (part) maturation in ex-Sherry casks or even by a first fill Bourbon Barrel. To sum things up, this is an official bootleg that probably will show a lot of distillery character. A real natural Whisky.

Tomatin 12yo 1997/2009 (57.1%, OB, First Refill Bourbon Barrel #4326, 244 bottles)Color: White wine.

Nose: Spicy wood, sweet and lots of vegetal notes. Alcohol. Vanilla and wood and a little bit of white pepper, but more is going on here. Slightly fruity and tiny hints of licorice and mushrooms. All in all a very clean nose.

Taste: Sweet at first, with again spices and white pepper. Even with this high alcohol content, it seems very smooth and even the finish is half long only. Warming and fatty. In the back of the mouth the alcohol has some acetone notes to it. But above all its zesty and shows signs of lemon. Lemon curd is stated on the back label and that’s what it is. The vanilla pod transforms into creamy ice-cream. Good balance.

Having just opened the bottle it seemed to be very closed and even a little bit unforgiving, but some five months of breathing did the Whisky a lot of good. Again an example of a Whisky that is closed and needs some time to really “wake up”. Just like me I suppose.

This Whisky is actually all about the details, and all details are tiny and restraint. Due to its high alcohol content, no-one will pick this up first, but when it’s tasted after a few other Whiskies, the subtleties are gone. Definitely use this as an aperitif, or when you are planning to have only one dram. If you stick to these “rules” you will be rewarded. I like it.

Points: 86


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