Over to Tomintoul for a ruby port barrique finish (14 months – the Watt’s apparent ‘go to’ length for additional maturation currently) that’s been applied to a 2010 12 year old. 58.4% ABV, and a sticker price of £71.95 at The Whisky Exchange.
Nose: Immediate patisserie with oven buns and tart cases alongside blackberry liqueur, overt port wine and almond paste. In support – hedgerow berries and touches of shoe leather. Dilution expresses Brazil nuts, singed pastry and planed oak.
Taste: A syrupy, clinging mouthfeel that offers blood orange, succulent cherries and scattered berries alongside rolled marzipan, cloth tarpaulin and white pepper. Again, the explicit port is articulated too. Water maintains the shape of the whisky feel with vanilla and toffee expressing from the cask alongside fizzing tannins and raspberry jelly sweetness.
Finish: Medium in length with sweet and sour berry sweetness alongside freshly baked pastry cases.
A big port influence on this Tomintoul – which is perhaps to be expected given the intrinsic lightness that the distillate usually conveys. It’s been a while since tasted the OB 15 year old Portwood (note to self: I’ve not yet written about it on The Dramble) – but the additional 12.8% ABV and increased levels of extraction here really provide a substantive oomph when compared to The Gentle Dram’s tendency to keep things toned down.