Review: Tomatin Contrast – Bourbon vs Sherry

Contrast Box & BottlesTomatin Contrast – 46% abv

Info: See the info here, however in short Tomatin have released a set of two 35cl bottles, one fully bourbon matured, and one fully sherry matured. They contain exactly the same make up of whisky so that you can compare how the maturation in different casks has affected things. Great geeky idea! It’s a NAS whisky, but they clearly state the makeup of the years in the malt blend, another thing which I love about this whisky, I wish more NAS releases from other brands would follow suit.

Colour: Light straw.
Nose: Quite a full nose, good aromas. Some older style Tomatin making an appearance here, which is great to see. Full of overripe tropical fruit notes, pineapple and gooseberries.
Palate: Nice and easy on the palate, medium sweetness with some good age on its side showing up. It’s medium thick on the palate with nice smooth oils and hints of oak.
Finish: The finish has a fresh almost eucalyptus note to it, it’s fairly sweet and goes on for quite a long time with a pinch of spice and a nice warming effect on your chest.
Thoughts: A lovely dram, it reminds me a little of the old bourbon-only 25yo bottling that I loved and was discontinued. It’s a style that I think suits Tomatin well.

Colour: Full gold.
Nose: The nose seems slightly more restrained until it breaths for a moment and then sherry fruits jump out at you. You can tell there’s some older sherry here, there’s a nice depth to it. Plenty of ripe raisins, brown sugar and toffee notes.
Palate: Also nice and easy on the palate, if not just a pinch of extra spice notes. It’s also medium sweet, with just a slightly smokey cask char hint amongst the ripe summer fruits.
Finish: The finish is a more relaxed affair; think winter berries and your feet up in front of a nice fire. The finish goes on for quite a long time with sherry notes lasting out.
Thoughts: A nice relaxed dram going on here, really enjoyable and moreish, lovely blend of malts from the various years / ages. For info the sherry casks used were all Oloroso 1st fill.

Overall Thoughts: Both drams are great, and really fun to explore. Because of my old love for bourbon Tomatin then, for me, the bourbon dram here wins out but it’s hard to pick them apart… on a cold wet winters day then I may well swap and pick the sherry! With two bottles in the pack, one of each type, then it makes it easy to be fickle depending on mood.
Available: The Green Welly Stop – £95.99

Thanks to Tomatin for the samples.


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