For notes comparing the Tomatin 15yr Standard vs Tomatin 15yr Limited Edition, pleaese click the link to expand!
Tomatin 15 Standard
First off… Their standard 15yr. I’ve gone for this as its exclusively aged in bourbon oak… I don’t mind a sherried European oak dram, but generally prefer bourbon aged, and this suits me just right, at 43% it’s drinkable straight from the glass, no faffing with water.
I won’t go into the tasting notes too far… Other than to say its lightly straw coloured with a clean fruity lightly oaked nose. The mouth feel is medium oily, a nice enough coating on a summers evening, on the middle of the tongue with spices but still quite light on the oak, lighter than you’d maybe think for a 15 but certainly no harsh youthful notes which gives away the age a touch. There’s a small dollop of spices on the finish that sticks around for a short to medium time whilst you enjoy and then leaves you wanting another dram. Although this dram might not blow your socks off it will certainly be a nice delicate dram to enjoy on an early evening, a session whisky. I give it an unscientific 88. If it lasted a touch longer on the finish it’d possibly be an 89. Either way, I know this doesn’t float everyone’s boat, but it’s still a favourite for me if I’m not having a peaty evening, which usually I am. On to the limited edition 15…
Tomatin 15yr Limited Edition
Next up, the Tomatin 15yr limited edition. There’s 3,150 bottles of this released and it’s been out a couple of months now. Fairly reasonable at around £50 for a fairly strong whisky (not quite cask strength).
The colour remains quite light as you’d expect from bourbon, if not just a touch darker, from the extra finish in wine casks I suppose. For those that haven’t guessed it’s matured in a combination of 2nd fill Bourbon barrels and Tempranillo wine casks and released at 52% ABV, non chill filtered, apparently they consider that the “optimum strength for achieving the perfect balance between flavour, body and overall mouth feel”, I can’t argue with that! On the nose you can tell the quality of the stuff, you get all the things from the standard 15 but on steroids, the extra strength helps and the wine finish adds a much sweeter candy note to the general summer fruitiness. The mouthfeel is still fairly delicate, but more punchy… Spicy but sweet. The finish is longer than the standard which is great, although it turns from immediately spicy into something that seems to just get sweeter and sweeter, to the point where it’s nearly too sweet for me, but then tails off just before it gets too much. This is obviously the big brother to the standard 15, however the extra strength gives it the punch I was looking for, and the extra finish adds a great extra level of sweetness and complexity. I’d happily give this a unscientific 89… Maybe even a 90 on a good day… However for me personally I like bourbon oak whisky because they’re generally less sweet than sherried oak, and the wine finish here adds much of that sweetness back in that I usually shy away from. I will happily ignore that in this case and just enjoy it for what it is, a great mid evening dram before moving on to the expensive smokey Isaly drams that I love. If I was looking to get a bottle of Tomatin 15, then I’d plump for this one while it’s around for sure.