Recently Tomatin distillery revamped their core range whiskies, dropping out the 15 year old and the 30 year old expressions while adding instead two new expressions: 14 year old and a 1988 vintage. Both are with port ‘touch’ – the 14 year old is finished in port while the 1988 is vatted from ex-bourbon and ex-port casks.
The Tomatin 15 year old was a bit of a foster child in Tomatin core range as it was fully matured in ex-bourbon casks while all other expressions have sherry involvement. I did tasted and compared the 12 year old to the 15 year old with the 12 winning over (see my review here), so I was very curious to see what Tomatin did with the 14 year old.
Nose: The nose quickly gives out the fact it’s not fully matured but short finish to give some impact with light and fresh berries & cloves. Ex-Bourbon maturation is felt with vanilla & oak sweetness, papaya and overall profile is still gentle Tomatin. Given time in glass there are also whiffs of dark bitter chocolate, nutmeg, leather. With few drops of water to open it up reveals spiciness and sweeter port.
Palate: Start with oak, darker than nose hinted at, and very spicy! Cloves, Curry-like spiciness, plums, ends with bittersweet notes. With water it’s lighter and fresher with more oak notes.
Finish: Long spiciness with the addition of nutmeg and bittersweet oak.
Conclusion: Initially the nose wasn’t too impressive but the rest is good. Water do open nose and palate is lighter. Overall it’s a well done and rounded whisky, definitely a worthy (and better) successor to the 15 year old.
(Official sample was received from Tomatin Distillery)