Sometimes you open, enjoy and share a bottle and completely forget to review it. This alsmost happened with this 30-year-old Tomatin. Originally opened for my 30th birthday it has become better and better through oxidation over the years. I guess now is the time to finally officially review it before there’s nothing left – which should already give you a hint…
Bottler: official bottling
Age: 30 years
Cask: European and American Oak casks
uncoloured / not chill filtered
Deep, dark gold
Oh boy, where to start… this is one of these extremely tropical and fruity drams from the 70s and 80s which are almost extinct today. We’ve got heaps of honey melon, passion fruit, mango, papaya, lychees, apricots, a pureed mixture of canned fruits in syrup, a sprinkle of orange peel, limoncello, beeswax and the most delicate influence of oak that perfectly underlines these fruits without becoming too much – far from it!
Gentle on the arrival – but not weak, far from it! The somewhat spicy oak influence, which adds a drying effect, is a bit more noticeable on the palate and one of the first things you notice. Once you get through that layer, the other elements come into play – beeswax, orange, dried apricots and honey sweetness. Not as tropical as the nose but still very nice and intriguing!
Honey sweetness, ginger and cask spiciness upon swallowing, which give way to tropical fruitiness that lingers for a long time.
This is a wonderfully executed whisky left to mature in very good casks for 30 long years, yielding a great balance between spirit and wood. While the tropical fruits are more pronounced on the nose, the palate can hold up pretty well. Hard to imagine that this is the result of the biggest malt distillery in Scotland at the time this was distilled – but hey, I’m not complaining! Now for the hard part: I was lucky to grab a bottle of this back in 2014 for about 150€. While a lot of money, these days it’s not unheard of that even young NAS bottlings can exceed that sum. Crazy times. If you come across a dusty version of this in a shop – grab it. Or give the new edition of the 30yo a try – though you need much deeper pockets nowadays, it’s about twice the price now!
Overall Score: 90/100