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Review #140 Tomatin 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Finished in Bourbon and Sherry Casks

Updated: May 4, 2021

Distillery: Tomatin Distillery

Proof: 86

Age: 12 Years

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

BACKGROUND: Tomatin Distillery officially opened their doors in 1897 by John MacLeish, High MacDougall, and Alexander Allen. The word Tomatin translates to "Hill of Juniper Bush in Scotch. Although the opening date is in 1897, their story dates back to the 16th century when local herders would purchase their spirits on work breaks. The distillery itself is located 1,000 feet above sea level and 18 miles from any civilization. Due to the extreme isolation, builders built lodging for all of the employees. With this model, although the whisky was of high quality, the business failed. In 1909 the distillery reopened their doors, and has grown themselves to be the second largest distillery in Scotland. Tomatin 12 Year Single Malt is a single malt scotch whisky finished in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks.

NOSE: Fresh pine, light malt, and sweet butterscotch open up this nose. On top of that are sweet scents of fresh apple, pear, and tropical fruit. The sherry wine notes that I expected are not there but there are feint traces of vanilla that probably came from the bourbon barrels. Overall, this was a simple, delicate, and sweet nose that was very approachable and enjoyable. (22/25)

PALATE: As soon as the whisky touched my tongue there was an immediate bite and tang but that went away with a nice buttery and creamy feel. The flavors I pulled were light vanilla, hay, smooth oak, and toasted almond. There was also some bright fruit notes that were very enjoyable. Overall, this was a very smooth and flavorful scotch that I thoroughly enjoyed. (32/40)

FINISH: The finish was long and buttery while highlighting the oak and toasted almond notes. It went on for quite a while and left my mouth watery. (22/25)

VALUE: With a $30 SRP, Tomatin 12 year is hard to beat. This whisky is one you can continually buy and never feel bad or regret buying. (10/10)

Overall: 86/100

FINAL THOUGHTS: Tomatin 12 Year is a very tasty and smooth scotch whisky at an incredible price point. This whisky can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. If you are a bourbon or rye fan we recommend checking this one out if you want to get into scotch.

Similar & Slightly Better Whiskey: Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Year

Similar & Equal Whiskey: Glenfiddich 12 Year

Similar & Slightly Worse Whiskey: Wolfburn Single Malt

Tell us what you think and give us some feedback

Scoring Legend:

96-100: The perfect dram, juice of the gods

90-95: Near perfect, truly incredible whiskey

85-89: Amazing whiskey, will always try to keep a backup bottle of this

80-84: Very good, some minor flaws here or there

75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink, Will try and keep a bottle on the shelf

70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get this

60-69: Decent, would offer this up to non whiskey drinkers

50-59: Not my cup of tea

Below 50: Give away

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1 Comment

Rjay Barjay
Rjay Barjay
Dec 06, 2023

I agree with your review. For a very good 12 year old at this price point it is a no brainer. This is the whisky that I have as a daily sipper and is always on my shelf.

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