After all these years here we have another first on these pages. Recently Speyburn showed up here and now Tomintoul is featured here for the first time, so another old, yet not all that old distillery, since it was founded (only) in 1964. In this case, for me, Tomintoul is a very well known distillery and should have featured earlier, since I have already tried a lot of stellar bottlings from this distillery. Here we also have an official bottling. Not one of the core range, but one form the Single Cask series. I haven’t seen it here in shops in mainland Europe, so I guess this is some sort of an UK exclusive. I have managed to receive some drops of this at a Whisky festival. It were the last few drops from the bottle, so I hope it is enough for a full blown review.
Color: Light Gold.
Nose: Typical Bourbon cask, yet an especially very fragrant offering. Very big and aromatic, floral and nutty, making it quite special, setting it off from the typical Bourbon cask offerings. Appetizing. Fresh, like a cold day after lots of rain. Wood but in a soft way. No harsh oaky notes. So floral but also fruity. Quite citrussy. Seems like a simple refill barrel, but a very good one. Right out of the gate, quite big, aromatic and complex. There is a lot happening at once, as well as more than enough evolution, whilst sitting in my glass. The aromatic are a bit Christmassy. Bonfire and Christmas perfume. Toffee and caramel, yet also slightly woody and waxy. The fruity citric acidity sometimes drops out and comes back, like a turn signal or a neon sign. The nose is very good and also very interesting for a “simple” Whisky from a Bourbon barrel, well, let me assure you, simple it is not! The amazing complex floral aroma just keeps giving and expanding like a budding flower, but it is a big aroma, not a delicate small flower, but a big overpowering one, yet the smell is not overwhelming in this Whisky. The Whisky just keeps opening up, give more and more. This is a really big complex thing! Amazing stuff. I hope it is similarly great on the palate as well.
Taste: Fruity on entry, also sweet on entry. Very fruity and much more fresh and acidic than the nose alone promised, Sweet yoghurt with peach and some hints of licorice. Fresh, yet not really virgin oak. Yes at times it is a bit hot, but I wouldn’t give it the ABV it has. Wow! Hints of ashes and toasted cask. Vegetal and very well balanced. Slight woody bitterness in the finish and especially in the aftertaste. It starts fruity and sweet, turns dry quite quickly and then it shows its third tier with the woody bitterness, which sits a little bit outside of the balance for this Whisky. Layered. Nutty toffee. When finally tasting this (I smelled it for a long time), the nose just keeps evolving more and more. The profile and the ABV makes this a Whisky not entirely suitable for novices. I believe, experienced “drinkers” will appreciate it, and will appreciate it a lot. Medium length aftertaste, which is nice and tasty.
Not a lot more I can add to that. This is a remarkable Whisky, which is finished after only 12 years and coming from a “simple” Bourbon barrel. I want a full bottle!