- Graham Eunson started his whisky career at Scapa before working at Glenglassaugh and Glenmorangie [maybe not that way round]. He’s been the distillery manager at Tomatin since 2011.
Since 1974, Tomatin has been able to produce more spirit per year than anyone else – 12.5 million litres [July 2016]. This record has yet to be surpassed although [William Grant’s] Glenfiddich and Glenlivet will probably match it this year . Still, that’s a long record to hold – who knew?
In reality, Tomatin never produced to capacity, even in 1974 when it had 23 working stills. It currently produces around 2 million litres a year.
Until fairly recently, Tomatin’s malt was seen as a filler for blends like ‘Antiquary’ [acquired by Tomatin in 1997] and ‘The Talisman’, but in recent years Tomatin has concentrated more on it’s single malt range in keeping with current market trends.
Today i’m focusing on some of the older blends and single malts from Tomatin, of which there are quite a few,… and that are rather good. These all appeared at TWE Show 2016.
Tomatin 1995/2016 21yo Ob. [btl #0234/1912] 46% WB87.60
- N: Oloroso cream, bubblegum=butterscotch, [Wrigley’s] Lockets and honey flapjack.
- T: Honeycomb, butterscotch, marzipan, sweet putty paste,….. A chatty, easy reader.
- F: Theres a delayed reaction,…. before the oloroso flows.
- C: Thank goodness the oloroso holds back a while. Sweet nose, sweet spot.
Scores 87 points
[The] Antiquary blend 21yo Ob. [Tomatin] 43% WB82 WF87 [WM]85
50% grain, 30% Tomatin and 20% made up of 30 or so other malts.
- N: Modern, aged blend with notes of butter-cream sherry and corn.
- T: Cloying
- F: Salivating sugary cream, but it’s the previous 1954 Glen Grant that still pervades my palate.
- C: Tasty but too sugary [and simple] for my palate. I can quickly tire of this style, though it can make for a great session dram.
Scores 80 points
[The] Antiquary blend 35yo Ob. [Tomatin] [800 bts] 46% WB88.71 WF90
50% Tomatin, 50% Girvan.
- N: Back to tincture sweet, one that comes with a mineral-vegetal-candy fruit complex.
- T: Same on the palate. Careful with the water.
- F: …….. lovely. A big range of flavours here.
- C: Just like TBWC’s 35yo WB, excellent indeed. Seems like 30+ is optimal for Tomatin, much like Balblair.
Scores 89 points
Tomatin 36yo  Ob. Batch 2 [800 bts] 46% WB92.33
- N: I’m lost with this one. It’s sweet, but is it sherry, bourbon, or both? A confusing mix of casks – or more likely, my nose and palate is tiring. I smell the mash.
- T: Sweet.
- F: Finishes simply enough. Very neutral cask[s].
- C: One of the natural ones. Cracking session dram no doubt.
Scores 84 points
Tomatin 1971/2016 44yo Ob. cask #30041 45.8% WB93 WF91
- N: Putty, leather, sweet<meaty ham
- T: Like running your tongue along a soft, old leather belt albeit with a wafer thin/gossamer softness and bone dry delicacy.
- F: ….. and it goes on,… and on.
- C: [Glen Grant 1954, eat your heart out],… this is one of the highlights of the TWE show, of the year, any year!
Scores 91 points
Ooh, I missed one out – let’s go forward a few years.
Tomatin 1988/2016 27yo Ob. Batch #3 [1800 bts] 50% WB91.50
Bourbon and Tawny port casks
- N: Sweet, yes – pastry sweet yet coupled with a hummus=porridge savouriness. Water brings out the sherry char. Could go either way on the palate.
- T: Prickly with water. Either way, i cant decipher the spirit or the oak.
- F: Tawny,… equals sugar.
- C: I’ll go back to the 44yo if you don’t mind.
Scores 83 points
More about Tomatin and it’s two distilleries [old & new under one roof], later on in the year.
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