Tomintoul

Review: Tomintoul 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
25 Years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Tomintoul (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

I got a small sample bottle of this which was part of a duty free sample pack that really didn’t set me back too much. For this bottling, only casks which display floral and fruity characteristics were selected.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2014

Nose: Brilliant integration of the mighty three in this – malt, filtered apple juice, and oak. It’s lightly dry and sour and still has some of that harshness or sharpness found in the other Tomintouls (such as the 10 and 16 year old) on the nose. The oak isn’t too strong, and this can be seen in the colour easily enough. If we take a step back from the big three, there is some generous vanilla, a dirty earthiness, dried apricot, and a light menthol feel. With some time the texture of the nose seems to develop, feeling more weighty and thick and creamy. There’s also a bit of a funny meaty aroma which I’m not too keen on…this knocks it back a bit.

Taste: Lots and lots of white raisins, through and through, before some clean malt tries to take some of the reins…after that, the raisin takes over again with a touch of earthiness before some spices take the rest. Different than the nose – the apple is largely not present, but there are glimpses of orange and toffee. It’s nicely woven together, and works well to slow you in your tracks a bit.

Finish: Lots of malt, with touches of some clove, earthiness, and then some green apple skin and white grape. Enduring, and enjoyable – eventually some oak and nuttiness sets in too. It coats the mouth really well, with good flavour – it makes me think this would be a brilliant malt with a cigar (you’d need a good one if you’re gonna drink this with it!).

This is very nicely crafted together – the nose, taste, and finish all do their work very well. For a 25 year old malt, it’s a bit simple – but it’s good. The only knack I really have with it is the bit of weird meatiness on the nose – but that’s not too overt.

Highly Recommended (48% of all whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: Low, based on $335.


Review: Tomintoul 16 Years Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
16 Years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Tomintoul (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

Tomintoul, a Speyside distillery, largely produces whisky for blended whisky, but also has a number of offerings of single malt. They are also in the Guinness book of world records for producing the largest bottle of whisky in the world, which contained over 105 litres of 14 year old whisky in 2009! This was subsequently beaten by Jack Daniel‘s, and now the Famous Grouse (with a 228 litre bottle).


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: Immediately deeper and richer than the 10 year old. Vanilla, coconut, dried fruit, and rich malt and some black pepper and earthiness. Like the 10 year old, still a bit hot on the nose but not as much. A lot more complexity in this one, with quite a bit going on. In the background, light lemon, Some other light fruitiness that I can’t quite pin down. Apricot and the lightest creaminess.

Taste: Quite malty, with a fair bit of pear and vanilla and caramel. Nicely balanced with some sherry influence. Nice earth notes in this, with some citrus and oak and a bit of nuttiness in balance. Sweetness level is quite nice for balance.

Finish: Light and earthy, with some vanilla, apple skin and seed. Good earthiness too. The barley lingers well.

Conclusion: Lots of grain, and not overly sweet so it accentuates the grain in a nice way and not one that is typical. There is some wonderful dark earthiness to this, which, if you know me, I like.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher). I actually like the 10 year old more than this one, but it’s still decent.

Value: Average, based on $76.


Review: Tomintoul 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky by Jason Hambrey

ABV
40%
Aging
10 Years
Recipe
100% Malted Barley
Distiller Tomintoul (Ballindaloch, Scotland)

On Tomintoul whiskies, they often brag about their water – it is (slightly) more than a marketing ploy – they did look for nearly an entire year before they found the Ballantruan spring, the water source for the distillery. The distillery is named after the highest village in the Scottish whisky region of Speyside, which the distillery is close to.


Review (2015)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2014

Nose: Light, slightly sour, dried apricot, and a bit oily, and floral, still smelling a bit raw/young, even at 10 years old. Lots of barley! Grainy apple too, hazelnut, black pepper, and as it opens up it starts to take on a bit more of a floral character, which is quite nice. I find to really get all the flavour present in the nose that it is quite hot in my nose and I can’t really breathe it in the way I usually like to which detracts.

Taste: Malty, with pear and raisin- without a lot of sweetness giving it a bit of a savoury appeal like a dry white wine (this is an analogy, rather than actual flavour).

Finish: Nice barley presentation, with some nice hot white pepper, caramel, raisin, and eventually some barley earthiness and apple-seed-like notes in fino sherry. Afterward, a bit dry.

This has some good elements, but lacks a lot of intrigue for me – it’s a bit plain. A solid malt and barley background, but there’s not a lot of complex integration with any other components.

Value: Low, at $76.