Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The last of My Tomatin discoveries for 2014...

Happy Birthday to me! I turned 48 last month. The day itseld was the usual BUT I am probably one of the few people I know that embraces ageing. Men, especially, will say 29 again? My answer is always the same: 29!? Hell I look like shit for 29 but I look fabulous for 48. Ahhhh but we digress, don't we? This is not about age... :0

The tradition has been for quite some time that my father in law gives me a bottle of whisky for my bd which he started doing in 2005 with Talisker 18. I was in love! This became "my birthday" bottle every year. In 2007 I visited the distillery and brought home some really nice whiskies from there. They were the first distillery that I bought several of their bottlings from, hence a "collection" so to speak. But then by 2011 I noticed some of the later releases, not even my beloved birthday bottle, tasted the same until finally I wasn't even able to recognize any Taliskers when I was given the sample blind. Something had changed. Was it my palate or the whiskies or a combination of both? Needless to say my "go to" whisky seemed to have gotten up and went somewhere else. :( 

In 2013 while at a whisky show in Victoria BC I attended a Tomatin Master Class and for me it was the a-ha moment. Not only did I enjoy the whiskies we tried but I was thoroughly impressed by the fact they had reserved one of the whiskies as a "guinea pig" whisky that not even people in Scotland had yet tried. So what, you think, what's the big deal Lassie? 

Well for those of us who are from this country and enjoy whisky as much as I do there's a feeling that sometimes the Canadian market seems like the second cousin twice removed. We either get the hand me downs (stuff that was released everywhere else like 3 years ago) or we don't get any of the Europe/UK releases at all. Tomatin whiskies were my biggest discovery of 2013 and so this week my Tomatin blogs culminate with the review of the North American Exclusive release of their 12 year old French Oak. It was fitting to open this, celebrate surviving my 47th year and looking forward to what comes next for this adventurous and wonderful Lassie. 

Tomatin 12 Year Old French Oak - North American Exclusive Release, 46% ABV non-chill filitered and natural color

Nose: Fresh fruit salad, tropical with pineapple, mango and fresh pears. Very fruity and inviting.

Palate: The fruit is there again, lush cherries followed by lingering Seville oranges. Nice, oily mouthfeel.

Finish: Long, fruity with just a hint of bitterness in the back. Quite enjoyable.

Although the house style is still detectable I love the extreme fruit quality of this whisky from start to finish. It's quite nicely balanced and delivers a satisfying dram. 

I look forward to sharing with as many friends as possible. This is only available to the North American market.  Alberta Canada for $67 at Wine & Beyond as well as some outlets in the USA for as low as $45.

So, what have I come to love about Tomatin? I think you can clearly see I love their house style. But... there is something else I really like that I think I should share. I personally feel like Tomatin is one of the few distilleries that "caters" to the whisky connoisseur, the geek or the aficionado. 

1. They don't bottle at 40%
2. They don't chill filter or colour their whiskies
3. No crazy, expensive packaging
4. Variety: NAS, aged (12-40), peated, wine finish, bourbon, travel retail, international and independ bottlings available. 
5. Visitor center has everything a whisky enthusiast could want. Both the male and female (that's huge for me).
6. Their tour is excellent
7. They do a great job on social media, listening to and interacting with their followers.

Do I really need to go on?  Well maybe one more. I personally find their whiskies quite satisfying, not only in my glass but on my wallet. If I want to spend a few dollars, they have a whisky at that price range. If I want to get a "nice" bottle, they have some at that price range as well. Needless to say, I'm super happy with these whiskies, love the fact that I can get them here in Canada as well as abroad and since I have followers and friends all over the world it's beyond refreshing to be able to recommend a whisky that is available almost everywhere to anyone may it be the 26 year old who doesn't have that much disposable income yet or the more complicated people like me ;)

I very much look forward to going back to Scotland in 2015 and I plan on visiting the cask that I lovingly signed as a dedication to the #whiskyfabric at Tomatin. I also look ahead and can't wait to see what they do next. 

  • New to whisky?  Find a Tomatin and try it.
  • Tired of marketing spin?  Look no further than a Tomatin and try it.
  • Don't want colored or chill filtered whisky...  Tomatin, TRY IT.   
  • Don't want to pay through the nose for good quality whisky...  I think you get the point.

Lassie recommended!! Errr, wrong Lassie?!
Tomatin remains extremely high for 2014 as far as recommendations, simple but pleasurable enjoyment and value. I hope you have a chance to try some of their core range or special releases and if you do, let them know.

Without a doubt in my mind, Tomatin does whisky well.  End of story... for now  ;)


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful article!
    Tomatin is just such a tricky one to track down here in Aus. I got close to the distillery when I was in Scotland earlier this year, though didn't quite find the time to visit it (dealing with my girlfriend's broken leg in Inverness was the priority when I was nearby). Having read this post, however, I'm sad I missed it!
    Keep on waffling,