So…like almost any malt whisky, prolonged maturation tends to bring out the best in Tomatin. Yes, I am aware that this is a gross generalization, but it’s at least one that bucketloads of empirical research on the part of yours truly supports.
The age-stated range in the sub 25 year category are all somewhat below par and a little disappointing in my opinion. The 25, however, was a bit of a revelation (as the price still hasn’t climbed into the stratosphere by that point), and the 30 falls in similar territory (albeit you’re now creeping up a little in regards to cash outlay). Initially these two malts were priced in close proximity locally, but I think there’s a little more divergence nowadays. Even the 40 year old came in under $1,000CA when it arrived. I think it might be a slightly different story if it were to land now.
This 30 year old distillery bottling bears some superficial similarities to its younger sibling (the 25, that is), but think of it like an adopted child that takes on the outward appearance of the adoptees. This one carries itself with a little more heft and is a slightly ‘darker’ malt than the its contemporaries. To be a little more clear: the 25 and 40 share a deeper thread of tropical vibrancy that, while still noticeable in this expression, is a more periphery characteristic and somewhat outplayed by the drier tannic profile. Still a special malt (especially coming from a distillery that I find to be anything but special overall), this one is well worth the price tag if you find it in the low $300s.
I should note, too, that this is another of the ‘archived’ expressions.
Nose: Nectarine and jammy / syrupy notes. A nice, spicy nip. Some bittersweet tang here; almost Five Alive-ish. Or tropical Lifesavers candy. Substantial wood. More on soft, doughy baking spices than the mature fruits of the 25.
Palate: Almost tropical here too. Tangy and juicy delivery, before it starts to get a little sour. Very much something I dig. Orange and mango. Ok…it IS tropical. Just a little too tannic, but not enough to damage the score.
Thoughts: A toss up between this and the 25 as to which I prefer more, but I think I lean towards the younger one. Probably a case where a little more research is required. 😉
*Thanks to Andrew at KWM for the sample.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt