And so, the last of the four whiskies in Tomatin’s Cuatro series: the PX. For those who came in late (salute yourself if you get the comics reference), I’ve previously reviewed the Fino, the Manzanilla and the Oloroso releases in this series. All were distilled in 2002, matured for 9 years in ex-bourbon casks and then re-racked into the specific sherry casks for the last three years. I didn’t find too much difference between the Fino and Manzanilla releases; which makes sense, as Fino and Manzanilla sherry are not that far apart, and so the odds that nuances between them would extend to whiskies double matured for three years in ex-Fino and Manzanilla casks were slim to begin with. The Oloroso had darker, leafier notes, more reminiscent of what we’ve come to think of as sherry cask notes, and I expect this PX cask will be similar: both Oloroso and PX sherries are made “oxidatively” and have more in common with each other than they do with Fino or Manzanilla sherries. Anyway, let’s get to it.
Tomatin 12, 2002 (46%; Cuatro 2: Pedro Ximinez; from my own bottle)
Nose: The sour yeasty/porridgy/beery notes that were in all the others are here too but they’re balanced out in this instance by richer fruit (apricot, orange peel). With time there’s a hint of chocolate. Fruitier still with a drop of water and there’s a spicy, rye-like note in there too now.
Palate: Pretty much as on the nose: an excellent balance of the sour and tart with sweeter fruit. Perhaps for that reason this seems to have the richest mouthfeel of the four. Leafier on the second sip and the oak is more apparent too. With more time the fruit comes back strong. With water there’s more orange peel and the oak is more polished.
Finish: Much better integrated on the finish as well, with negligible sherry separation. Fruitier with time here as well.
Comments: This was my favourite of the lot. It’s the most balanced and the best integrated. It’s also the most classically sherried of the bunch. There’s nothing particularly Tomatin about it but it’s a solid, lightly fruity, sherried malt. I would always be happy to drink it, especially in the winter.
Rating: 86 points.