It sounds like my father at the beach! Alas it is not. What it is is, is probably one of the last few pieces in our jigsaw puzzle of Speyside distilleries. While we carry a very extensive collection of whiskies from the different regions including, mothballed (closed) and lost (gone forever) distilleries, we are still a few distilleries short of a complete collection.
But thankfully the gap is closing especially now that we have just acquired the elusive whiskies from the Tomintoul distillery. Tomintoul (pronounced Tom-in-Towel) is one of those distilleries that many people have never heard of. The reason you may not have heard about Tomintoul is that its history is relatively short. It was built in 1964 with production commencing a year later. However up until a couple of years ago, only 2% of its entire production was bottled as a single malt, the other 98% being used for blending purposes. In the year 2000, the distillery was acquired by Angus Dundee Distillers who released the current 10 year old expression, followed by the 16 year old along with one of the few peated Speyside malts available on the market. The underlining character of all Tomintoul malts is a soft, mellow, aperitif style whisky.
So how do they stack up?
Well, before we brought them into the store my staff and I had the opportunity to taste the portfolio. Within ten minutes we knew we were onto something good. These are three, solid whiskies that would certainly find a spot on my back bar. And what’s more, they are great value for money. With that in mind let’s take a look at the three expressions.
Tomintoul 10 Year Old – A very straightforward malt that is uncomplicated and easy to drink. It’s textbook Speyside, soft sweet and mellow.
Tomintoul 16 Year Old – A very clean nose, with floral fragrant notes, the palate is malty with biscuity caramel almond and a little spice on the finish. At 16 years old, talk about ‘bang for your buck’. This is an incredibly smooth whisky.
Tomintoul Peaty Tang – Everyone know that I am a fan of all kinds of whiskies but I have a soft spot for peated expressions, which usually means Islay whiskies. Lo and behold along comes this beauty. It’s a different style of peat, not your usual heavy smoky briny style, but a soft floral more rounded peat. This was so good that I had to literally drag my nose out of the glass. Delicious!
All round I was really impressed. When all of the big name single malt brands are taking significant price increases, it is very refreshing to see a relatively new whisky distillery arrive on the scene with good honest to God, value-for-money whisky. That’s two thumbs up from me!