A Festive BI Single Malt Treat
November has arrived, ‘it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas’ is blaring out on speakers all over the place, and we have been busy readying our contribution to the festive period – our very own single cask whisky, selected with cold dark nights in mind!
Stemming from the Gaelic “Tom Aitinn” (meaning Hill of Juniper), the story of Tomatin dates back to the 16th century when it is told that cattle drivers would pass through the area between Inverness and Aviemore, fortifying themselves with spirit from the local still. It was only in 1897, however, that the distillery was established and subsequently the village of Tomatin, where many of the distillery workers lived, sprang up. After a couple of bumpy years at the turn of the century the distillery established itself in the Highlands and rode the post-war boom rather well – at one point in the 1970s, it was the largest distillery in Scotland, distilling spirit that went largely into blending. However it fell on tough times in the mid-1980s (as all distilleries did) and was bought up by the Japanese Conglomerate Takara Shuzo in 1986, becoming the first distillery to come under Japanese ownership.
Fast forward to today and they are widely recognised as one of the most exciting distilleries in Scotland. Tomatin has finally found its calling producing high quality single malts. A bucketload of awards have followed including the highly prestigious Distiller of the Year and World’s Best Single Malt Scotch awards. Beyond this, the distillery is also in possession of an enviable cask library with vintages going back to the 1970s (more on that in 2019!) However, it was the younger casks that captured our attention this time around, all displaying a wonderful maltiness and richness, perfect for the run in to Christmas.
So onto our chosen cask:
Aged in a first-fill Oloroso sherry butt (500 litres) and bottled at cask strength (58.2%) this malt truly embodies the festive spirit. Think of the smell of wood burning on the fire, Christmas cake covered in brandy, sweet roasted almonds, whatever best characterises Christmas for you and you will find it in this bottle. Just 598 bottles were drawn from the cask and each bottle is individually numbered by hand and presented in rather fetching individual gift boxes. Not only should you have this whisky in your line up, your friends and work colleagues should too.
‘Scotch Scotch Scotch, there it goes down, down into my belly!’– Ron Burgundy
Tomatin 2009 1st Fill Sherry Oloroso Butt - BI Cask #3554
- Price: £33.33
- Pack Size: 1 x 0.70L
- Status: IB
- Quantity: 283
- ETA: December 2018
Tasting Notes and Scores
A well rounded sweet malt, with notes of chestnut, roasted almonds and a hint of pecan pie on the nose which give way to raisins, sultanas, toffee nougat and a touch of caramel coated hazelnut on the palate. This is beautifully balanced given the high alcohol content boasting a medium finish with hints of sweet oak. Ding Dong!
With a drop of water the liquid opens up and shows off its luscious fruit. The nutty almond notes give way to unctuous stewed apple and biscuit crumb on the nose. The palate keeps that chocolaty caramel nougat but is complemented by devilishly sweet sticky raisin with a touch of pine resin. The finish is all you would want from this Christmas malt, medium with touches of mince pie.