Tomintoul Tasting

This month’s tasting at Trinity Hall Irish Pub featured the Tomintoul (pronounced tom’-in-tool), The Gentle Dram.  Here’s what we tasted:

10 Year Old ($40) – Notes of caramel, honey, mild smoke, grass, bitter orange, mild ginger, white pepper, but not very interesting… don’t bother with this one.

12Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish ($70) – Notes of vanilla, white raisin, fresh cut hay, ginger and black pepper with a mildly leathery finish… getting candied ginger after a while… this is better, but way overpriced for an average whisky.

14 Year Old Speyside Glenlivet ($75) – Notes of ginger, grass, pepper, lemongrass, orange peel, honey, leathery and menthol…  bitter and spicy, although a few drops of water tame the bitterness (it is 46% ABV)… another pass.

16 Year Old ($64) – Notes of honey, ginger, vanilla and grass…  mildly bitter and boring… don’t even think about it!

Peaty Tang ($50) – Plenty of peat with a mild sweetness… plenty of spice, but leathery and bitter… a bit of candied ginger after a while… just not that good.

Yamazaki 18 Year Old ($200) – This was the bonus pour for the night and one that I’ve had before at a private tasting.  The Peaty Tang hold over was not good for this fine whisky and almost ruined the experience.  We should’ve had this one before any peat.  Fortunately, I knew how good this one was and worked to cleanse my palate so that I could enjoy the only pour of the night worth enjoying.

Well, the tasting was fun, but the Tomintoul line was a dissappointment.

Tomintoul 10 Year Old

Speyside Single Malt, 10 Years, 40% ABV, $40

Really nice aroma of orange, grass, burnt sugar and honey. The light peat is set against a backdrop of oak, honey, orange and vanilla. The taste is light, but the aftertaste is bitter, then peppery. The peaty bitterness returns after the burn subsides. This is not a complex whisky, but its got a nice, light, sweet taste; however, the bitterness is a bit much to be perceived as a complement to the quickly diminished flavors. It does have a long finish, but its not as good as the nose or the initial light flavor.

I am becoming accustomed to the Speyside style and I like it. The gentle introduction to peaty smoke has been enjoyable. I just hope I can handle any Islay that may show up along the journey.

The distiller’s notes suggest:

A gentle 10 year old from the Speyside distillery, Tomintoul.