Blogpost: Water of Life – Tomatin

Posted by T • September 12, 2020

Posted by T • September 12, 2020

Water of Life – Tomatin

 

Located in the Scottish Highlands, Tomatin is a distillery with a longstanding history that under new ownership started to elevate its endeavours to new heights from the 1990s onward, which established them as one of the more distinguished distillers from the region on the firmament of whisky lovers.

My first exposure to Tomatin was their entry level Legacy expression, which was launched in 2013 as the distillery’s entry-level non-age statement whisky. Matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished for around a year in virgin oak casks.

What tickles the nostrils in deliciously vanillin in nature, framed by zesty citrus notes that are highlighted by tropical fruits and caramel notes, counterpointed by a florally herbal backdrop that has just the faintest hint of beautiful smoke.

The vanilla fully unveils its powers on the top of the mouth, serenaded by cider flavours and just a hint of spice and pepper, the latter of which is more prominent in the medium finish that also incorporates some astringent components.

With an ABV of 43% and reasonably priced, this is a solid entry-level whisky that opens up with a few drops of water and exposure to air.

Taking things up a notch is the 12-Year-Old expression, which on the nose already presents itself as more complex with a bouquet of oaky maltiness, honeyed vanilla, raisins and layers of grass and herbal aromas.

On the palate, oaky, peppery spice nuances take turns with vanilla, cidery apples, mint and sweet smoke, resting on a foundation of buttery sweetness with characteristics derived from the maturation in Oloroso Sherry casks.

The finish is just beautiful with marmalade, barley and currant flavours weaving themselves in with vanilla.

Tomatin Sherry Cask is quite something as it is well-calibrated and balances the fine line between having the characteristics of the cask without sacrificing subtle notes of barley, honeyed apricots and sherries, backed by dark chocolate and delightful leather notes. Stating that it is “well-calibrated” would be an understatement par excellence as this expression hits a palatable sweet spot, starting with subdued flavours before the volume is turned up but never beyond the point of making sense of individual nuances contributing to the whole.

The aromas are sweet, with the expected Sherry notes taking turns with lemongrass and dried fruits meeting raisiny dark chocolate, framed by oak, honey and caramel.

What materialized on the palate makes me smack my lips as a beautiful melange of fruits, oak, ginger and clover meet nutty flavours and a dominating streak of honey that then culminates in chocolatey territory.

So far, so good.

Enter Tomatin Cask Strength.  Matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon barrels and Oloroso sherry casks, clocking in at an ABV of 57.7%, this baby knocks things out of the park.

The Tomatin typical vanilla notes tickle the nostrils along with a well-calibrated melange of apples, pears, bananas and peachy notes, sitting on a robust foundation of malt and barley, punctuated by earthy and grassy notes that eave in sugary undertones and cinnamon.

If you think that the aromas are a handful, wait until you taste the drop as this is where the Cask Strength really sings. Starting off with sweet berry notes along with orange and citrussy highlights, it meanders via peppery spicy territory via ginger and salty bits to arrive at chocolatey cinnamon and nutmeg around an okay core.

The finish is elongated and combines the highlights of the aforementioned flavours in a nuanced crescendo, with sophisticated notes of vanilla reverberating long after.

---

photo from company website

T • September 12, 2020

More recent blogposts

Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music

Posted by T • August 4, 2021

Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music  Bloomsbury Academic   Examining the connection between modern phenomena and antique times, Bloomsbury Academic’s book series offers in-depth insights on the origin of what we while our time away with during these Coptic times.  In this case, a whole instalment is dedicated to marrying the study of heavy metal music with the classics, a … Read more

The Formative Years - The Cure

Posted by T • August 2, 2021

The Formative Years - The Cure There are many bands and / or musical styles that people consider their “guilty pleasure”, a notion I do not subscribe to as you either like something or you do not. Why feel guilty about it? The Cure is one of the bands that has been a steady companion ever since a friend made … Read more

The Formative Years – Turbonegro

Posted by T • August 1, 2021

The Formative Years – Turbonegro I have yet to come across a respectable authority with credentials in the realm of rock that would be able to bring something remotely negative forward regarding the musical legacy of Turbonegro. While the band is still going today, my infatuation with them started in the early 1990s and I still hold their 1989 to … Read more

Search/Play/Repeat - July 2021

Posted by Loren • July 31, 2021

We cover a lot at Scene Point Blank. It's part of the job, but first and foremost we're music fans. While we talk a lot of new releases in the news/reviews/interviews, music is timeless and we need a way to share it. Plus, I just love a good mixtape and want to share stuff. While Aaron typically covers Search/Play/Repeat and … Read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day and Shedshaker

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – 7th Day Brewing and Shedshaker   The story of 7th Day Brewing is one that could not be more DIY in nature as it all goes back to founder Mike Beresford Jones trying his hand in homebrewing in a bid to create the kind of brews he could not find anywhere, the fruits of … Read more

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD

Posted by T • July 31, 2021

The Formative Years - Rich Kids on LSD When I first got a hold of Burkhard Jaerisch’s Flex US Hardcore Discography long before the advent of the internet, I not only devoured it but set out to get my paws on all records that were deemed worthy of a 10 / 10 rating.  While I did not necessarily agree with … Read more

Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker

Posted by T • July 29, 2021

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Reckless Brewing and Moo Brew’s Gin Boilermaker   Having honed and refined channelling her alchemy in the creation of craft beers, the quality of which has left an indelible mark on the firmament of Australian craft brews, Reckless Brewing’s co-founder Grace has and continue to contribute to shaping the DNA of one of the … Read more

Beethoven and Wagner vs Nietzsche

Posted by T • July 26, 2021

Beethoven: A life University of California Press   There is no shortage of books dedicated to the life of a composer whose legacy has never ceased to reverberate and impact music at large. Released to commemorate the two hundred fiftieth anniversary of his birth, what sets this biography apart in terms of authority is partly due to the unprecedented access … Read more

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery

Posted by T • July 25, 2021

Water of Life – Limeburners and Earp Distillery   Over the last ten years, Australia has firmly established itself on the map of nations that produce quality malt whiskies. Slowly but steadily, rye whiskies created on terra australis have been making a splash on the scene with quite a few distilleries crafting their own incarnations of American style rye whiskey. … Read more

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury

Posted by T • July 24, 2021

The Formative Years – Rugby and Canterbury I’ve covered the mecca that Washington DC proved to be as a hotbed for hardcore and punk as part of this series before, however, missed to shed light onto one of my favourite releases from the 1980s era, i.e. the vitally important split LP of the short-lived bands The Faith and Void.  While … Read more