Tag Archives: Tomatin

Whisky Review – Tomatin Contrast

What do whisky geeks look for in a whisky? There are a few possible answers to this question but I think there’s one answer that will resonate true with most: Deeper understanding and new Information on what impacts and builds whisky taste.

Think about it for a moment: What impacts taste and flavor in whisky? We know that barley variant, yeast type, fermentation time (and vessels), still shape, heart cut and casks – all those impact flavor so it’s no wonder that we geeks love masterclasses, special whisky releases and aids that help us deconstruct whisky – to gain a better understanding of how it works and that reveal the innards of good and/or popular whiskies.

Only this week, there was a big uproar when Compass Box revealed the ingredients composing their latest two releases (namely the ages of the different casks that went into the blend). Whisky geeks applauded them despite that fact that a law was broken, because there was transparency and full information was disclosed. It means we know the recipe and we can chug onward toward finding our ultimate whisky and understand even further what makes whisky ‘clicks’.

Tomatin distillery is playing along with us geeks on this front, with special Cu Bocan releases, focusing on the major flavor corners (peat, sherry and bourbon) and now Tomatin Contrast.

Tomatin Contrast gives us whisky aficionados a unique opportunity to compare the effect of Bourbon and Sherry casks on whisky distilled at Tomatin Distillery at the same years. Of all the factors mentioned above, it’s a known fact (or is it an axiom?) that casks impact is the most important factor (between 50% to 80% of the final whisky flavor). The whisky in both Contrast halves was distilled in specific years (1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002 & 2006) and so we are probably looking at a very similar spirit (same barley, yeast and stills), leaving the classroom stage to the casks and their impact.

Tomatin Contrast  (46%, 2x350ml, 5400 bottles, £95.99/€129.99)

Tomatin Contrast (Bourbon Matured)

tomatin contrast bourbonNose: First impression is sweetness and fruitiness with lots of tropical fruit notes. Fresh juicy pineapples, papaya and a touch of guava, Vanilla, subtle nuts, oak wood. All nicely balanced. After a few minutes in the glass: perfumed tropical juice, lemon zest and the nose becomes very sweet and like it a lot. Continue reading

Whisky Review – Tomatin Cù Bòcan Virgin Oak Edition

After reviewing yesterday the new Tomatin Cask Strength, let’s review Tomains’ second new release – The Cù Bòcan Virgin Oak. It’s the second release in the trilogy showcasing the influence of each cask type which makes up Cù Bòcan: Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon. I reviewed the Sherry in the past and now it’s time to try the virgin oak edition.

Like the sherry edition, there are only 6000 bottles available and it was fully matured in First Fill Virgin Oak casks which should lend us lots of sweetness, vanilla and coconut. How well will it work with the peat?

Tomatin Cù Bòcan Virgin Oak Edition (46%, £49.95/€61.95)

Cù-Bòcan-Virgin-OakNose: A very fresh and interesting nose, It starts with a moderate-to-weak peat wave but soon its taking backseat to sweet pears and apricots, vanilla, massive sweetness, almost too much but still fresh and a bit zesty. Continue reading

Whisky Review – Tomatin Cask Strength

It’s been a while since I posted some notes as I was immersed in a blind tasting competition where I finished at top half but not too close to the top. I’ll have some post with my thoughts on the competition but I need some more time to get them into coherent and logical post so in the meanwhile let’s review some new additions on the whisky shelves, starting with the new Tomatin Cask Strength expression.

Till now all OB from Tomatin were bottled in 46% and lower so this is a new and great refreshment to the lineup. The whisky was matured in a combination of Bourbon barrels and Oloroso Sherry casks, 15,000 bottled were produced and it was bottled at cask strength of 57.5%.

Tomatin Cask Strength (57.5%, £48.95/€51.75)

Cask StrengthNose: starts with malt and sweet honey. Then a big sweet and light stewed fruits glazed with golden syrup and cinnamon sprinkles. The youth and malt notes still pop up over again like bubbles. A few minutes in the glass reveals drops of tropical juice and the nutmeg kinda replaces the cinnamon one. There’s no stronger sherry influence where the sweet sugar gets darker and brown, raisins and dark sweet wine. With a few drops of water it’s lighter and fruitier but retain the overall impression. Continue reading

Whisky Review & Tasting Notes – Tomatin Cù Bòcan Sherry cask 46%

I visited Tomatin distillery a month ago and I still owe you a detailed post on it but in the meanwhile here’s a review of one of their latest offering, the Cù Bòcan  – The Sherry Edition.

You probably wonder what is it, so here’s what we were told in the official press release:

With the standard edition comprising Sherry, Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, this is the first of three limited editions highlighting the flavours derived from each cask type.

Fully matured in first fill Sherry butts, the Sherry edition is rich and fruity with hints of smoke and paprika. There are only 6000 bottles available and it is expected to retail at £49.99 in specialist retailers.

This is a not a new concept in the industry, as previous limited editions were already produced (like Balantines 17) but it’s always a great idea to showcase the stronger impact of specific cask time.

Side note: I know that different glasses will expose different notes, but It’s been a while since the difference was so substantial. I’ve sniffed this whisky in both a Glencairn and the official Tomatin nosing glass and it was so different a whisky. Do you ask yourself which glass was used for the notes below? Go ahead and try both glasses and you’ll see 🙂

Tomatin Cu Bocan Sherry cask (46%, 6000 bottles, £42.15)

cubocan sherryNose: It’s young and kicking at first sniff. There are new make notes, lots of malt and of course lots of peat although it’s not sharp but it smells like more than 15 ppm. Buy then the peat recedes and there are all those fortified tropical fruits – Melon, Ananas, Mango. very Tomatin-like but with extra sweetness.

Palate: starts with peat but less so than what I felt on the nose at first, light influence of sherry with pastry, demerara sugar, chocolate, spice, all laced with tropical juice

Finish: short-medium length with nutmeg spice, sweet light sherry and lingering peat.

Toughts: This one felt very young at first (is it younger then the standard Cu Bocan?), then get balanced with some air breathing making it lightly peated with extra sweet tropical fruits. Very tomatin-like whisky with the peat. Real solid offering from Tomatin for those who like the dash of peat in their whisky.

(Official sample was received from Tomatin Distillery)

Whisky News – Tomatin Cuatro & CuBocan Sherry, AnCnonc Cutter, Ardbeg Supernova 2014, BenRiach Single Casks bottlings Batch 11

Hello there, I’m back! Did you miss me? 🙂

It’s been a long and busy summer, but now I’m back from summer holidays, recovered from the post-vacation blues (and virus) and it’s time to get in a high gear again.

Here’s a round up of the latest whisky releases, and this time I’m trying a different format for the whisky news roundup posts: We’ll start with headlines and Whisky gospel take on the release and only then we’ll provide the full PR. So, here’s take #1:


  • Tomatin Releases Cuarto limited edition series and Cù Bòcan Sherry edition

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Kudos to Tomatin to release a limited edition of 4 whiskies and keep the age statement on. Even the new Cù Bòcan is a refreshing addition (even if in a limited mode). oh, and the price is decent, very decent.


  • An Cnoc adds Cutter to their peaty collection

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Even more peatier! 20.5 ppm may not sound as much, but remember it’s post-distillation value so good chance it stands up to Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Port Charlotte when it comes to peatiness. Should be an interesting dram.


  • Ardbeg releases Supernova 2014

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: oh boy, I do understand the ‘need’ to release another community release (been a while since the last one, Alligator) but tie it with the space experiment? and dress Dr Bill Lumsden in Astronaut suit? I bet the supernova will be a solid dram (early review already confirm that), but the price is again ardbeg-y and the hype is there. Sigh.


  • BenRiach Releases Batch 11 of its Single Cask Bottlings

WG_iconWhisky Gospel: Like a clock, as expected, on the heels of the Glendronach releases, here comes the BenRiach. Not much to see here except that it’s probably good (very good) whisky, some more affordable and some less. If you can afford it, go on and buy one – it’s probably worth it.


And now for the full press releases. Enjoy! Continue reading

Whisky Review – Tomatin 1988 Vintage

This is the second recent addition to Tomatin core range along with the 14 year old I reviewed yesterday here. It’s replacing the 30 year old expression and is vatted from ex-Bourbon and ex-Port casks.

The sample I received was generous so I felt like sharing it. So I called a friend and a fellow blogger and we tasted it together, so if you want to compare our tasting notes of the same sample, read Michael take on it here and mine right after the break. Continue reading

Whisky Review – Tomatin 14 Port Wood Finish

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.

Tomatin 14 Port Wood Finish (46%, £48.95)

Continue reading