Behind the nineteenth window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a Tomatin 11yo batch 4 single malt, bottled at 51% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. Tomatin is a Highland distillery created in 1897 near Inverness. The 50s to 70s saw a huge growth on Tomatin’s production capacity, going from two to four stills in 1956, then 6 in 1958, going up to 11 in ’61 and a massive 23 stills total in 1974. Of course it couldn’t last as in 1974 they were already signs of a downturn in Scotch. Tomatin never run at full capacity and closed in 1986. However, two of its Japanese customers bought it, and Tomatin became the first Japanese-owned Scotch distillery. I couldn’t find the price of this Tomatin batch 4 nor the outturn. However, batch 2 which was a 16yo had a RRP of £59.95 so I don’t expect batch 4 to be expensive.
Coldorak: The nose begins on wood char, vanilla, caramel and cinnamon. After a moment you can discern liquorice, some malty notes and dusty books. A bit prickly, hinting towards the ABV. Reduction gives a bit more vanilla.
Ainulindalë: Soft apricot and pears along with very thin vanilla getting more alive with a swirl of the glencairn. Some chocolate in the background – between dark and milk. A very slight smokiness which I attribute to the oak.
Coldorak: Thin and underwhelming arrival unfortunately. Some prickly pepper putting your tongue on “hot”, some citrus notes, caramel and spices, but not much more. Reduction brings some sweetness and almost make a creamier mouthfeel.
Ainulindalë: In the mouth it starts with oak to then go to the more fruity side of it, apricot more than anything. The vanilla then comes with the alcohol and some chili peppers, along with this mix of chocolate the nose was about. It is very syrupy, thick and coating. With a bit of water, it gets weirdly more kick at the start of the mouth and accentuates the peppery side while getting the chocolate to a more milky side. It also brings back the pear in the mix while adding banana to it.
Coldorak: Short with a touch of dusty oak and honey.
Ainulindalë: The finish is all about chili pepper flavoured chocolate, medium length, subtle yet good. With water, banana sits there too.
Coldorak: I don’t have much experience with Tomatin, but damn am I disappointed. Maybe because I hate tomatoes and was influenced by the label… but nah I don’t think it’s the reason. It’s not a bad whisky, it’s just completely underwhelming.
Ainulindalë: This dram might a bit simple to me but it’s sound, well built and I do enjoy pepper either way. What made me laugh is that my coblogger enjoys so much tomatoes that I do hope it’ll become a joke (hint: he doesn’t). (Cold’s note: Oh no I don’t.)