Here’s another widely available official release. And it’s not expensive either. The Legacy is Tomatin’s current entry-level malt made from ex-bourbon and virgin oak matured spirit. It comes without an age statement because numbers are meaningless except on a price tag. There’s a rumour that this is not very much older than the legal minimum 3 years, which seems like an odd thing to tie the word “legacy” to; or more accurately, it’s more evidence for the proposition that when you see a whisky with a word like “legacy” on its label it’s likely to be very young. To be fair, Tomatin does have five age-stated whiskies in their range (most very fairly priced); there is also another NAS release, the Cask Strength, which I have not tried; and they’re not trying to charge the earth for this one either.
I did not purchase these minis. These were handed out to us at the end of our excellent tour of Tomatin in mid-June in lieu of the tasting portion of the tour—which we skipped on account of having to drive back to Edinburgh, and also because we don’t drink at 11 am (a philosophy not subscribed to by some of the others who were on the tour who’d clearly been drinking since well before 11). I’ll have a detailed account of that tour next month; here now are my notes on this whisky.
Tomatin Legacy (43%; from a 50 ml bottle from the distillery tour)
Nose: Grassy and citrussy off the bat. Below that there’s quite a bit of vanilla and some gingery oak. With water there’s some cereals and the citrus gets a bit muskier.
Palate: Leads with the wood on the palate and it’s a bit bitter. The other stuff is hidden under it. There’s some bite from the oak but the texture is rather thin. The wood is even more pronounced on the second sip and it’s more bitter still. Water makes the texture thinner still but also pushes the oak back.
Finish: Medium. The gingery, bitter oak is the main story here. As on the palate with water and at the end there are little flashes of fruit as well.
Comments: This is nice on the nose, if not particularly interesting, but is overpowered by the virgin oak on the palate and finish. If indeed very young, it’s not particularly new makey—which may also be down to the wood influence. Either way, it’s neither a good introduction to the distillery’s own age-stated line-up—there’s none of the fruit of the 12 and the 18 here—nor likely to be particularly enticing to blend drinkers. Better with water, and I suspect it would be even better with ice as well as a long drink for the summer. Not much of a legacy though, I’m afraid.
Rating: 76 points.