Graham: "You should call this reveal - dropping the deuce". Me about an hour later: "HEY!! I just googled that!?" Graham: "Nothing but maniacal laughter".. BOYS!!??
Needless to say, we are calling this one my 2nd best moment and whisky for 2016 for a few reasons. First and foremost, a visit to this distillery has been a stellar one EVERY time. I've been going for 3 years straight now. It doesn't matter who is there, I always get the same level of customer service, great information and better yet: Some pretty interesting and delicious whiskies! If you haven't yet been, please make a reservation and don't forget to take a photo of the #whiskyfabric cask.
This year was no different. On my trip to Scotland for 2016 I actually ended up visiting the distillery twice. Once with Jo Lawson.. well because we needed a loo... (what better place to stop)... and it was a pleasure to introduce Jo to Graham Eunson, have a quick coffee and a bit of shopping.
Then a week later, I revisited with Crystal Coverdale and we had a full tour of the distillery. It was pretty much my last chance to grab something different to bring back home for Graham so I decided upon an ex-bourbon cask, cask strength, straight out of the barrel.
Whisky #2 for 2016: Tomatin 12 CS, ex-bourbon cask #2592, 62.3% ABV. The bottle made it home and sound and we opened the bottle on November 11th, my 50th birthday. I've since shared it a few times (as I always do...) and enjoyed it immensely. I love Tomatin whiskies as I feel, so far, every single bottling I've ever tried has followed the same recipe (so to speak): Lovely nose, great palate, strong finish. BALANCED. What I thought was really interesting about 2016 was the fact that my palate seemed really tuned into ex-bourbon casks. This one is exceptional and truly is a great definition of what this type of maturation is all about.
I knew this whisky would be in my top 10 and once I had my list, quickly placed it in the top 3. When the Scotch Test Dummies asked if I would do a live tasting with them, I quickly said hell ya and we schemed that I would reveal my number 1 and runner up whisky of the year. I learned a few things that day:
1. The boys really love Tomatin Cask Strength whisky.
2. A 30-45 minute video session with Bart & Scott easily turned into a 75 minutes of laughter and debauchery.
3. Never feed cask strength whiskies to the boys... again (hehehe....)
I'm thankful to be in the position to visit distilleries in many different countries, I'm even more thankful for the friends and whisky community that has grown exponentially these last few years. I hope the Scotch Test Dummies and I make this an annual event and I certainly hope that Tomatin keeps hitting them way out of the park.
Buy great whisky, share it with fabulous friends...
May this be the motto of 2017.
Cheers -> Lassie