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Tomatin 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Speyside, Highlands, SCOTLAND
$199. 00
$2388.00 Dozen
ABV: 46%

Illicit stills are part of the history of whisky distilling in Scotland and were widely used in the local hills around Tomatin. As a distilling site, illicit or otherwise, Tomatin goes back to the 15th Century when drovers – men who ‘drove’ their cattle to market over high mountain passes – would fill up their whisky flasks from a still alongside the Old Laird’s House. A formal distillery for the making of fine Scotch malt was first built on the site in 1897 by the Tomatin Spey District Distillery Co Ltd, and revived in 1909 by the new Tomatin Distillers Co Ltd.

The 20-year expansion programme started in the 1950s saw production rise to some 12 million litres a year, making Tomatin the largest capacity Scotch whisky distillery in the world by 1974 - a credential it maintained until 1987 when 11 stills were dismantled in the mid-1980s during the whisky crisis that forced Tomatin into bankruptcy and liquidation. Thankfully, it was saved by the Japanese conglomerate, Takara Shuzo in 1986, who launched the modern era of whisky distilling in the Monadhliath Mountains.

Around eighty percent of Tomatin's whisky goes into blended whisky, including its own brands of Antiquary and Talisman. The distillery, as of late, has been making an effort to bolster its name as a producer of single malts and is expanding its core range. In 2003, Tomatin's basic 10 year old malt was replaced by the 12 year old. In 2009, a 15 Year was added to the line-up, which also includes an 18 year old and a 25 year old.

Tasting note: Pale gold / pale straw hue. A wonderfully lifted, sweet and pure fragrance buzzes with vanilla, dried fruits, hints of cinnamon and ginger biscuit. Perfect balance in the mouth - hints of dried fruit initially becoming more nutty and oatmeal like as the sweet spices and peppers crescendo. Dries at the finish concluding firm, tangy and long. An amiable Speysider indeed! Oloroso matured. 46% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... A new, beefed-up version of the 18 year old, with a higher alcohol level and (seemingly) more sherry influence. I must say that I really enjoyed the previous expression, rating it an 87 for its roundness and elegance. I like this one too, and its bold demeanor. Whether you like it or its predecessor comes down to preference and mood. Notes of toffee apple, pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, date nut cake, ripe fruit, and roasted nuts, all dusted with cinnamon, vanilla, and cocoa. 88 points - whiskyadvocate.com, (Summer 2010) Reviewed by: John Hansell

...Golden amber color. Aromas of spicy toffee, peach marmalade, clay, burnt nut, and heather with a silky dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a lively toasted oat and nut, peat, and honeyed orange finish. Delicious, vibrantly fresh and easy drinking.
International Review of Spirits Award: Gold Medal
RATING: 92 points (Exceptional)