I started this blog with the intent of reviewing whiskeys that were affordable, and here in the United States, the best way to drink good whiskey on a budget is to buy American. However, every once in a while, a good deal on a whisky comes a wandering across our borders. Tomatin 12 year-old is one such whisky – affordable and quite enjoyable (and it pairs wonderfully with a bit of darts while you’re enjoying the World Championships this weekend).
Tomatin is a distillery located in the Eastern part of the Scottish Highlands, and while not an especially common single malt here in Boston, it is certainly not impossible to find. The 12 year-old is the standard single malt from the distillery, and it is aged in a combination of first-fill ex-bourbon casks, refill American hogsheads, and refill Sherry butts before being married for an additional period in ex-sherry casks. It is bottled at 86 proof (43% abv).
The nose on this is pleasant and fruity (apple pie), with some honeyed notes, some meaty sherry, sweet bread pudding, and a whiff of floral pleasantries as well. The palate is soft and seductive, with malt, some fino sherry, warm nuts, and a slight waft of some warm earthy smoke. The finish is dry and surprisingly long with pears, peat, malt, and some candied nuts.
Overall, this is a very pleasant single malt, especially if you are looking for a dry presentation of a Highland single malt. If you are looking for a good inculcation of a Highland whisky without breaking the bank, seek out a bottle of Tomatin 12. My grade: B. Price: $35-40/750ml. At the price point, it is hard to beat this one for a single malt.