Distiller: Tomatin. Region: Highlands. ABV: 46%. Age: 14 years. Price: $55.
Tomatin is a fine and under-appreciated Highlands distillery that’s taken a big step toward being properly recognized with a major packaging overhaul in 2016. (For a look at the unflattering old packaging, see our review of the excellent Tomatin 18.)
I like the new look for three reasons: 1) good design makes my eyes happy, 2) what’s in the bottle lives up to the new good looks, and 3) Tomatin’s always been a value buy, and will continue to be–they’re not hiking prices to go with the redesign. That’s reason to celebrate.
The distillery was kind enough to share tastes of the 12-year-old, the no-age-statement Dualchas, and this 14-year-old Port Finish. They’re all worth daily drinkers, but this 14 is my favorite of the bunch.
The core malt is aged for 13 years in the traditional ex-bourbon barrels, then finished for a year in tawny port pipes. That finish imparts to the welcome Tomatin core of malt and oak spice a layer of wild blackberry. The palate adds dark chocolate notes–think chocolate lava cake with fresh wild strawberries. The finish has ripe fruit and lingering spice.
The overall experience is dark and lovely. It’s a great alternative for sherry lovers any day of the week, neck-and-neck with the 18-year-old as my favorite Tomatin yet.
Sláinte, friends! – BO
A Tomatin representative graciously provided a sample for review. As always, our opinions are 100% our own.