Whisky Review – Tomatin 30 year old

Tomatin 30 year old
46% ABV
Matured in ex-bourbon barrels
Natural Colour (assumed)
Non-Chill Filtered
£120.78 from MasterOfMalt

Final in my tomatin trilogy, is the 30 year old. This is now discontinued, but it can be found out there if you look. Prices vary wildly, so shop carefully and quickly before it’s all gone.


It was quite closed at first, and needs some time and air to wake up. Fresh. Crisp apples. Lemon sherbert. Pineapple cubes. Sweet shops. Icing sugar. Light pepper. Vanilla. Buttery and creamy. Lots of rich honey. There is the cleanness of youth in this nose, but then something very deep and heavenly. There is oak in there, but it’s not overwhelmed by wood like so many other whiskies of this age. Its retained it’s youthfulness. It’s a long sniffer alright, and by that I mean I can spend my nose in this glass for hours. And it should be a perfume. 🙂


Arrival is gradual and methodical. Building from light apples, to intense sweet shop sugars, light pepper, chewy toffee, runny honey, pineapple, tropical fruit mix. Vanilla. Cream cakes. Mouthfeel is oily and invasive (it’s gets everywhere!). Citrus oils. Through the development you get hints of age. Leather, tobacco, old oak, but it’s really only glimpses, never overtakes or intrudes, it’s really remarkable that a Whisky of this age has got so much going for it and it hasn’t been drenched in old wood. Some would say your paying for those aged elements, but this is a truly unique experience. Delicious.


Sweet, intense to gentle sugary goodness. No burn, but gentle warm hugging all around. Some pepper spice, and lemon rind. Toffee. Honey, and all the good stuff from the palate slowly gliding into the distance. Warm honey line the throat.

Adding Water.

I’ve heard of this dram’s water sensitivity, so I’ve literally added one drop. The nose has more citrus amongst the sweet shop. Lemon rind, skin becoming much juicier in time. The palate reflects this, an intensity now amongst the fruit elements of this Whisky. So very juicy. The finish, as before all of the elements gently fade away leaving a warmth of sincere satisfaction. If you add too much water this dram can have a bitter edge, so less is more, add 1 drop or none.


This is a old Whisky with a youthful attitude. It’s so different than anything else going. Hints of age throughout the experience, complex, exciting, tasty. This is a Whisky to spend long evenings mulling over. It’s a thinker. One to sit there, explore, find something new every time and just plain enjoy. In terms of value for money it is a bloody bargain. Unfortunately it is being discontinued. If you have ever considered buying this, do it now. If you want a well valued, complex and enjoyable Whisky to enjoy later buy it now. You will NEVER EVER get a cheaper 30 year old single malt with the way the price of Whisky is going. Anyway…nuff said, I’m not getting on a ‘price of Whisky’ rant, quite yet! 😉


Whisky Review – Tomatin 1988 – 25 year old

Tomatin 1988 – 25 year old.
46% ABV
Matured in ex-bourbon barrels, and finished in port oak
Natural Colour
Non-Chill Filtered
£160.00 from TheWhiskyExchange

Fresh on the heels of the 14 year old tasted the other day, I now have the pleasure of trying the new vintage Tomatin. 1988. A 25 year old malt, ex-bourbon matured, with a port wood finish.


Big flavoursome intense nose. Lots of complex fruit, oak and age. It’s a bigger, deeper nose than the 14, but not quite as in your face fruit jams. This one has more age and oak influence with the port wood not as obviously effecting the nose, but enhancing the bourbon maturation. Vanilla. Pepper. Ginger spices. A little light aniseed. When you cover and re-approach the initial aromas are the familiar berries, and jammy fruits from the port wood, but are soon overtaken with pineapple, apple, orange, some polish and that aged dusty mahogany wood. Overall a fruity, oaky, well balanced aged nose. After a little time in the glass I found a tiniest little bit of peat or wood char. Definitely a tiny bit of smoke going on.


Very thick, oily mouthfeel and gently warming. Jammy red fruits. Strawberry. Blackberry. Some apple jams. Creamy vanilla custard. Some sponge cake. Light peppery oak. Very smooth, very little burn. Throat caressing. Extremely chewable. A pleasure to hold in the mouth. The age is very evident in the depth of the flavours experienced, and the dense texture which accompany them.


Long. Pepper, oaky spices. Fruit jams dying out, slight freshness, a little nuttiness. A touch of tea here and there throughout the finish. A little peppermint in the background.

Adding Water.

Only adding the slightest few (4 small) drops as it’s awesome as is, but have to do it for experience. The nose just blew up in my face. Much jammier, more smoke char, more vanilla cake. Bloody hell! On the palate we have lift off! Retains all the oil density, but now just has sooo much more flavour levels, some orange creeping into the fruit which is now very much dancing in the mouth. The finish is fresh, clean, fruity and very satisfying. Wow…wish I added water sooner, this dram totally rocks with just a few drops.


A very exceptionally thick and dense palate on this Whisky. It really is a pleasure to taste. Very well constructed, beautifully balanced, and extremely drinkable. This is brilliant stuff. I love it. If it’s in your price range, it should be on your shopping list. It is a worthy replacement to the 30 year old.

Much thanks to Tomatin for providing the sample. Superb stuff. 🙂


NEW RELEASE – Laphroaig Select

Interesting new release from the world of Laphroaig today.    Laphroaig Select.  A new generally available release which is said to merge several styles of maturation in this new expression, presented with no adding colouring (excellent), and give a new spin on the classic malt.  Heres the information received today from Distiller Manager John Campbell:




Today, I am proud to talk to you about our next global expression. Laphroaig Select. It is aptly named as it is the special selection of casks we have chosen for maturation that gives it it’s unique character. Like Quarter Cask, the inspiration forLaphroaig Select comes from our past, but this time from around 70 years ago. This was the time of the last – and perhaps greatest family owner, Ian Hunter (1886-1954).

Ian was one of, if not the first, Scottish distiller to visit the bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and study their maturation techniques. He saw and tasted the effects of American ‘White oak’ barrels on their whisky. Up until then Laphroaig, like other distilleries, sourced 100% of its barrels from Europe which gave a far sweeter ‘sherried’ style of Laphroaig than anyone would recognise today. He arranged for a selection of these barrels to be shipped to Scotland to mature Laphroaig in this ‘new style white wood’ oak barrel. By the late 1940’s we see a brand new style of Laphroaig begin to emerge. One that contained a selection of both ‘new’ American and ‘traditional’ European oak matured whisky.

A few years ago I started to experiment with Ian’s maturation techniques using different American Bourbon and European Sherry barrels. I was not trying to ‘copy’ the exact taste Ian produced back then, but to create a new style of Laphroaig that would resonate with your tastes, the Laphroaig drinkers of today. I created 6 different expressions, then ‘taste tested’ these with many you – the Friends of Laphroaig, to discover which was the most popular. We even researched the potential names with you too, you may have been one of them – ‘Laphroaig Select’ is the winning flavour and name.

So how does Laphroaig Select taste and when can I get it?
Tasting Notes:

COLOUR: A Fully Natural colour with no caramel added, it is sparkling gold with layers of colour – arising from different maturations and oils mixing together.

NOSE: Peat first, then ripe red fruits from the PX and Olorosso casks. A hint of dryness next from the American oak with a long lingering florally finish – Marzipan and even limes at the end.

PALATE: This full bodied whisky is initially sweet up front- matching the nose, then the classic dry, peaty, ashy flavours come bounding in followed by a lovely rich finish arising from the rich fruits of the European casks.

Since so many of you have asked for it – Laphroaig Select contains no caramel colouring! I think it’s a fantastic addition to our core range. It is a complex whisky to make, so we will be rolling it out slowly over the next 12 months. The first countries who are receiving it are Australia (where it will be called Select Cask), Germany, Italy and the UK. It will start appearing in your local shops this month.

Intersting sounding stuff.  Will be writing about this one as soon as I get a taste.  In fact, going to try and do a bit of a parallel tasting, with Laproaig Select, the classic Laphroaig 10 year old, Laproaig Quarter Cask and 10 Year old Cask Strength.  Yummm!   🙂

See my review of Laphroaig Cairdeas Port Wood.