Tomatin – 18yo 1994 Cadenhead’s
(Distilled 1994, bottled February 2013, bourbon hogshead, 234 bottles, 54.1%)
Nose: Light, sweet and honeyed, with a great quantity of apples and (especially) pears. Esters, I suppose! A bit of grape gummy too, with hints of Muscat grapes. In the background some Speyside-esque grassiness, a faint trace of woodsmoke and a bit of marzipan.
Taste: It’s quite a big arrival, with lots of honey and a fair bit of pepperiness. Very fruity too, but less fresh fruit and more preserves: marmalade, plum jam, canned peaches. Just a bit of stem ginger.
Finish: Decent length, with lots of malty body. The honey that runs through this whisky is still very much there, but now it’s accompanied by some biscuits dunked in black tea, cinnamon and that slight bitterness you get when you crunch on a black grape seed. Dried apricots in the aftertaste.
Not the most complex whisky ever, but – blimey – is it drinkable and delicious. Enjoyable, balanced and well-made malt whisky – who could have a problem with that?