Lovely photograph, isn’t it? Sometimes when you do sample swaps you receive gleaming jars with meticulously typed labels, sometimes you receive re-purposed miniature bottles with lots of old stickers still attached and just numbers to identify the contents, and you have to scrawl the names on yourself before you lose the key. I don’t particularly care; it’s what’s inside that counts. But I do like to show the picture of the actual sample bottle I’m reviewing and not a glamour shot of a full bottle I never saw. (I believe this sample was from a bottle with the newer rectangular label.)
Anyway, this is a sample of the Tomatin 25 and the actual bottle is not that exciting. Though it’s been discontinued it can still be found in the US for not very much more than $100, which is a very good price. But is it good value? Will it approach in quality the 30 yo at 49.3% (from the 1976 vintage) that I reviewed last year? Let’s see.
Tomatin 25 (43%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Lovely acidic fruit notes (grapefruit, lime peel, tart mango) along with guava and tinned pineapple and a bit of ripe peach. Yes, it’s the full-on Tomatin fruit basket experience. Some polished wood too and some salt. After a while the intensity of the fruit subsides and sweeter notes emerge: cherries, and some vanilla-cream as well.
Palate: Acidic fruit to start on the palate as well followed by a turn to the tropical (papaya, mango)–very much as on the nose, but less intense, with the mouthfeel just a bit too watery. Unlike on the nose there’s some pepper here and some slightly bitter, woody notes that add a nice counterpoint. More citrus, and a touch of apricot, on later sips.
Finish: Short-medium. The tropical fruit and the wood linger a bit but disappear all too fast. The finish actually gets a little longer with time.
Comments: If you can find it, this is a relatively affordable way to find out why people make so much of a fuss over older, fruity Tomatins. At 43% it doesn’t have the greatest oomph/depth, and gets quite thin towards the finish, but it’s very pleasurable whisky indeed, and a perfect summer night sipper. Pass on the water (though I didn’t note it above, I added some towards the end and it only dulled the whisky).
Rating: 87 points.
Thanks to Steven R. for the sample.