Phew. We’ve made it. A 24-day journey into the archives of the Boutique-y Whisky Company alongside a varied and entirely hodgepodge selection of daily ramblings of wildly varying quality. Thank you to everyone who has been dramming along with us each day and likewise a big, hearty thank you to Dramble friends for all the love and support you've show us over the course of yet another not entirely normal year – it really means a lot. We’re off now for a much-needed break to recharge the whisky writing batteries – so all that’s left for me to do is to wish you all the very best of festival seasons.
Door 24 of the 2021 Boutique-y Advent calendar brings out the big guns for the finale – Tomatin 36 year old Batch 5. This end of 2020 release of 878 bottles is delivered at 46.8% ABV and is available via Master of Malt for £251.95.
Nose: Mango chunks and papaya slices provide a fruit-driven core, whilst quality wood polish, lacquer and dusty dunnage reinforce the venerableness of this old timer. Creamy Italian meringue and fine honey join crumbed chocolate digestive biscuits, whilst lemon gel provides a tangy lift. The addition of water offers a polished oak fruit bowl alongside freshly baked scones and moist earthiness.
Taste: Arriving with immediate bright, vibrant fruitiness – dried pineapple, mango slices and apricot puree. Oak provides a backbone – mahogany and wood panelling. Golden barley corns are perked up by lime and grapefruit peels, whilst in the back palate, a well-integrated tingle of both salt and pepper speaks once more of the cask. Dilution reveals an underlying salty bite on the arrival, moving from a sense of minerality through a development of dried fruits and tart cereal notes. Fundamentally altered – but just as lovely.
Finish: Long with residual sweet fruitiness and persistent, but perfectly integrated oak and spice.
It’s great to see Boutique-y putting a classy, well-matured dram into the final slot of the Advent calendar – that’s exactly where this elegant, fruit-forward Tomatin belongs. Expressive and sheened throughout – and far too easily quaffable for its sticker price. A festive treat without a doubt.
OK - that's all I've got for now. Go back to eating/drinking/sleeping/avoiding your in-laws. See you in 2022.