Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #330

Tomatin 1967 40yo
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
42.9% abv

In 1974, Tomatin was the largest single malt distillery in Scotland with 23 stills, but Tomatin sold off many of its stills and in the past 4 years it has gone from number 2 (after Glenfiddich) to number 12 in distillery capacity.

Oh yes, the times they are a-changing in the whisky world, but change is nothing new to this industry. Phylloxera vastetrix, prohibition, war (see this)... When this whisky was made 40 years ago all cask management, stock ledgers, and blending sheets were handwritten, single malts weren't really available outside of Scotland, and distilleries were producing all of their required malted barley on site. Some of these things seem impossible from today's persepctive, and in many cases they are simply because the scale has increased by leaps and bounds.

So raise a glass with me to get through this Wednesday in January and toast positive change in whisky, in government, and in our pockets.

Only 1,614 bottles of this stuff, created from 7 hogsheads of mature spirit at Tomatin. For more distillery info and to see all Tomatin had on the mission, click HERE.


Bittersweet with spicy oak. Caraway seeds and marzipan liqourice, freshly churned butter. Port wine. A handful of raisins and almonds.

Honey coated coconut. And chocolate. Lacy with surface impressions containing glimpses of what lies behind. Woven flavours are neither balanced nor conflicting. Exciting flavour ride. Late spice, again with the caraway seeds, juniper, and bitter chocolate.


Complex, and although not at all balanced, this is 100% positive. Caraway and marzipan make a Scandanavian Christmas whisky. Constantly redefines itself to the drinker, weaving new sides and new flavours never letting go of the former with the one that follows. Nose has elements of aquavit while the palate has elements of Macallan. Vibrant, exciting, if slightly hot; 40 years maturation and wise vatting creates a whisky as dynamic as 40 years of life should be. Alive, and life-affirming.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that would be vastAtrix. Third declension feminine nominative.

colin. looking forward to seeing you both