Water of Life – Tomintoul
Full disclosure: Tomintoul Distillery was not exactly at the forefront of my mind when it came to Speyside distilleries.
This is mainly due to the fact that so far, I have not had the pleasure of sampling their emissions yet, despite having been a stalwart since 1965 – which is not further wondrous as in the world of spirits where the limelight is often taken by those who shout loudest and mainstream acclaim is not necessarily based on the merits of the product itself.
While Tomintoul Distillery harbours other brands and blends under its umbrella, I would like to focus on their single malt expressions today, all of which are refreshingly primarily age statement based.
Approaching the matter in a vertical tasting style, my point of entry is the Tomintoul 10.
Upon first contact, Speyside characteristics are front and centre, i.e. a melange of vanilla, mocha and oaky malt tickle the nostrils, the aroma of which is extended when the viscous, oily drop unfolds its sugary, fruity caramelly malt notes on the palate.
While the finish is not exactly the longest, Tomintoul’s 10 qualifies as a gentle, mellow and charming every day Speyside sipper in my book and proves to be extremely good value for money, specifically for the uninitiated.
Let’s take things up a notch, shall we?
Tomintoul with a Peaty Tang is where things got interesting for me. The name does not mislead as the nose does suggest peat in a moderate manner, which adds depth and dimension as it is carefully calibrated and embedded in an array of piney and citrussy notes.
What caresses the top of the mouth is a subtle wave of sweet peat punctuated by salty milky chocolate notes with welcome hints of nutty highlights. A nice addition to my peaty whisky shelf.
With Tomintoul 16-Year-Old we are now entering borderline premium territory: With the drop having been aged for at least sixteen years in bourbon casks, the aroma carries Tomintoul’s trademark light vanilla and fruit notes. The palate is being caressed by an amplified version of the raisiny, cocoa and interestingly, nutty flavours that seem to be somewhat a trademark of Tomintoul’s emissions.
Located within the Glenlivet estate, Tomintoul is distillery that should be on the map of any Speyside aficionado.
image from company website