Friday, August 2, 2013

Review: Tomatin 18

Tomatin 18
Price: $55-$70
Strength: 46%

This is about as cheap as you can get an 18-year-old single malt, and given Padraic's not unfavorable review of Tomatin 12, this looked like a good try when I saw it on sale last summer in the New Hampshire liquor store.  

The sherry casks are obvious on the nose.  Cinnamon raisin bread, grape jelly, vanilla almonds, and a touch of wood smoke.  Overall a very pleasant nose with a good mix beyond the sherry.

The whisky hits the sweet buds first with apple jelly and almond cake.  But then it turns intensely dry and woody with strong sherry.  I usually love dynamic whiskies like Talisker and Ardbeg that evolve on the palate, but this swings the pendulum a little too far.  The sherry and wood (eventually) breaks up on the long finish, which is a bit rough for an 18-year-old but gives a pretty nice aftertaste.

Overall, a complex, though incoherent, whisky.  The flavors are strong, but the sweet to dry progression is a little like eating ice cream before salmon.  Given the price and uniqueness though, I recommend picking up a bottle if you can find it.  86 points (B).

Other Tomatin reviews:

1 comment:

  1. I tried this at Whisky Weekend this year, and thought it pretty decent if thoroughly unremarkable, though a mass tasting like that has a tendency to overpower quiet, contemplative sippers. Nice to know the low pricing extends throughout the range, though "ice cream before salmon" seriously reduces the chances of me trying this one =)

    Unless it's equally as cheap, I'd avoid the "Decades" bottling, a vatting of Tomatin releases from each decade since I think the 60's...granted I only had the one taste at WW, but it felt like a gimmick that just didn't work, and therefore a waste of some seriously old stuff.