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. 🙂


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