The Tomintoul distillery lies in the Speyside region of Scotland near its namesake town which holds the honour of highest village in the Highlands of Scotland. I enjoyed this fact, but nowhere near as much as their other claim to fame: in 2009 they held a Guinness World Record for creating the largest bottle of single malt Scotch whisky! The bottle was a stunning 105.3 litres of Tomintoul 14-Year-Old that would serve around 5,250 drams. That sounds like one hell of an evening to me.
The distillery nestles in the gateway to Cairngorms National Park in the Glenlivet Estate and any search for photos of the surrounding area show it to be outstandingly beautiful. As it happens the area is home to a number of endangered and protected animals including the golden eagle, mountain hare, wild cat and black grouse. The distillery mascot, Vincent the pheasant, can often be found leading a flock of his friends when the grain trucks appear for a free meal (mooch!). It seems that Tomintoul's name as 'the gentle dram' extends beyond its smooth taste. They have put great stress upon the unspoilt natural environment in which they work, claiming that it can be tasted in every dram.
The Tomintoul 15-Year-Old is finished in portwood. It spends the majority of its life in ex-bourbon barrels to age and then is transferred to port pipes to introduce another element. It is clear from the second you look at a glass of this expression because of the reddish tinge that can be seen. I have always been a fan of whisky finished in interesting ways so I was excited about the Tomintoul. My notes:
Appearance: Rose Gold
Nose: Plum/Raisin notes are prominent from the portwood finish; a pleasing hint of cinnamon offset by toffee sweetness; oaky vanilla with a slight hint of tobacco on occasion; notes of red wine.
Taste: Classic Speyside butterscotch sweetness on the back of the palate come out from behind the drying tannin up front; a pleasing spicy tingle builds, but is not overpowering.
Finish: Spicy dried fruits with a lingering buttery sweetness.
This is a great dram that interestingly hits all the Speyside notes (sweet, light and fragrant) with a stunning uniqueness in the form of the portwood finish to make it special. It has made me keen to try more from this distillery and it has definitely put it on the map for my next trip around the Highlands!
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Tomintoul 15 Year Old Portwood Finish - https://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/tomintoul/tomintoul-15-year-old-portwood-finish-whisky/
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