Tomatin Legacy

Tomatin: Legacy (Scottish Highland Single Malt Whisky: No Age Statement: 43% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold.

Viscosity: Moderate speed thick streaks from the spirit.

Nose: Mellow. Pencil shavings. Vanilla fudge. Oak. Light alcohol heat. Shredded wheat and barley husks. Cinnamon. Water smoothes to white chocolate and toffee.

Body: White chocolate. Noticeable alcohol. Oak. Smooth malt chocolate. Cinnamon. Bready. Waters smoothes, gives white chocolate much more heavily and adds light orange crème.

Finish: Charred oak. White chocolate. Nuttiness. Coriander spice. Waters makes more oak, yet still has touch of alcohol.

Conclusion: For once my terrible memory has actually come in useful here. You see, if I had remembered that this had been partially aged in virgin oak then I would have been convinced that the bourbon imagery, not to mention the smooth white chocolate notes, were psychosomatic. However, I did forget until after the review, so here it is.

Initially I noticed the bourbon imagery in the aroma – there was a kind of barley husk or shredded wheat layer, mixed with sweet elements, which seemed a similar style to a few of the bourbons I had encountered. What followed that was a sweet main body with the same kind of expectations. What I hadn’t seen before is that light white chocolate character that is layered throughout the entire whisky. Initially it brought to mind images of white wood, mainly as it mixed very satisfyingly with the oak elements – later however it actually reminded me of those Cadbury’s Dream white chocolate eggs. Though that may only be because I was utterly addicted to them many years ago when I was working bar in Edinburgh.

Anyway, this whisky has a touch of rye bourbon in that it is just slightly spiced – that hard to pin down whisky character in feel and flow, and it all goes together very well. It is maybe a bit hard to get rid of that alcohol burn, but for a smooth whisky it is far from dull.

Its flaw is in the tail end to finish – for a whisky that trades heavily on a set of lighter notes the rough charring of the ending is a detriment. It still leaves an interesting whisky, but it does mark it down, and means it is having a harder time finding a niche. So, a bit of a rough end, and a bit hard to ditch the alcohol burn, but a very interesting lighter whisky with unusual notes.

Background: Tomatin! I’ve found this distillery a few times in pubs, but never got around to reviewing any expression. As you may have guessed if you read this regularly, I found this at Independent Spirit. This expression has been aged in a mix of Bourbon and virgin oak. I had music on Random while drinking this, resulting in a mix of Bad Religion. Doctor Who, Republica band the like. Nowt too embarrassing.

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