Tomatin 12 Year Old

So, Tuesday was the final lecture for my current graduate course and Wednesday was the last day of school (I’m a teacher) so, naturally, I found myself in a bottle shop looking to reward myself for surviving another year a couple of jobs well-done! 

However, I find myself In a bit of a predicament these days, as a “self-financed” blogger… Lately I find myself torn between spending my money on bottles that I know I enjoyi versus something unfamiliar, which are getting fewer and farther between. So there I was, having almost grabbed a bottle of Laphroaig Quarter Cask (How have I not reviewed this whisky yet?) before getting distracted by Bruichladdich Heavily Peated (Haven’t posted about this one either!) and, all the while I was considering leaving for a different liquor store where I knew I could find Four Roses Single Barrel

And that is exactly what I almost did, before my eye was drawn to a group of cartons that had previously gone unnoticed by me.  Sitting there, all black and red and white were the core range of Tomatin single malt. On one of the very good blogs that I follow (, I have recently read all kinds of positive things about Tomatin, so my mind was instantly made up – I decided to step on the first rung of this ladder and picked up a bottle of the Tomatin 12, which is 43% abv and cost me a very-reasonable $55 CDN. 

To the Eye

Crystal clear, pale straw in colour with flashes of deeper gold – moderate legs move quickly down the sides of my glass. 

In the Nose

The first impression is quite like a typical Speyside. Juicy green apples and pears come through very clearly, along with a mild earthy, herbaceous quality – the carton notes indicate that this is a peated malt, but it’s a more floral experience than I usually expect. Malt is another big player on this nose. It seems like there should be more distinct aromas to tease out. This was nose is rich and seems like it’s layered but it’s so well balanced that I find it hard to pinpoint too many individual characteristics but it’s a very enjoyable nose!

On the Tongue

My first impressions are of malty sweetness balanced with gently astringent oak tannins. Warming with hints of cinnamon and white pepper. There is a very nice balance of bourbony vanilla and sherry fruitiness toward the end. The finish is medium… maybe medium-long. It’s longer than I expected! Here is where the peat comes through for me, along with a trace of sherry juiciness which fades into a lingering floral sensation accompanied by almond milk. 

Final Thoughts

I like this whisky. It’s well-balanced, light and approachable – very appropriate as a summertime dram. It didn’t knock my socks off with complexity but, thankfully, not all whiskies aspire to be complicated and overly thought-provoking. Tomatin 12 year old seems quite content to settle into that respectable niche where almost any whisky drinker, from newbie to experienced, should be able to enjoy a dram or two. 

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