Tomatin 12 year old is matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and then finished in Spanish sherry casks for between 6 to 9 months. It was rebranded towards the end of 2015 along with the rest of the Tomatin range into a new shaped bottle with a more contemporary logo and an earthy colour palate. All of the rebranded bottles now highlight the distillery’s tagline ‘The Softer Side of the Highlands since 1897’.
Nose: OK this is strange – virtually neutral. Perhaps just a hint of wood? It’s beyond shy. Fortunately, after a few minutes resting the situation improved. Whilst still certainly delicate, we now have apples, pears, some musky spice, maltiness and a light earthiness – dusty wine cellars.
Taste: Much better! No shyness here, straight away we have candied fruits – sugared apples and oranges bobbing around in pear juice. Fruits are joined by vanilla, caramel, a scattering of raisins and some mild chocolate. Good cask influence of pepper and salt alongside pleasant oak bitterness. Resting here also brings improvements in balance and flavour definition.
Finish: Medium, drying and with sour fruits and spices.
Ignoring the strange air-like nose to being with, after a fair amount of resting (much more than you’d normally expect for a 12 year old), this dram really finds its feet. It’s highly drinkable and with a good character of sweet-fruit and bitter wood.