You say Tomatin and I say Tomatin! Get it? That’s just a wee Irish joke I made up!
Right, let’s get back to the whisky. Tomatin is one of Scotland’s biggest distilleries, situated in the Highlands just a bit south of Inverness. Its 12 copper pot stills pump out over 2.5 million liters of spirit every year, with a fair proportion of that whisky going into blends. However, a substantial amount is also held back for the distillery’s single malt portfolio, which has been increasing in size and quality over the last few years. February’s Malt of the Month features a relative newcomer to the portfolio- one that is interesting in style, moderately priced, and very tasty: Tomatin 12 Year Old French Oak Single Malt Scotch
This particular Tomatin 12 year old has been matured in ex-bourbon hogsheads for the first 9 years and finished in French oak casks for the final 3 years. The finishing casks come from superior stock, including distinguished wineries such as Lafite, Vicard, and Seguin Moreau. Before the finishing process begins the casks are de-charred and then re-charred to give a sweet and creamy flavor, which replicates the style obtained when using virgin oak casks to finish a whisky. The result in this case is a malt that exudes flavors of malt balls, vanilla, coconut, red berried fruit and soft creamy butterscotch. The palate is rich (non-chill filtering helps enormously here) with a candied sweetness and a nice soft finish.
All in all this is a great introduction to not only the terrific malts from Tomatin but to the use of extended wood finishing, which I expect we will see more and more of in the world of Scotch whisky.
Note: This North America exclusive is limited to just 12,000 bottles. At just $44.99 a bottle I expect that this whisky will disappear sooner rather than later!