Feature Dram – Tomintoul 14 Year Old
Master Distiller and Master Blender Robert Fleming, who’s family have been making whisky in the Speyside region for four generations has created a range of single malt whiskies with a notable difference. Better known as ‘ the gentle dram’ these whiskies are aged to perfection with a lighter character and yet full of flavour.
Tomintoul is the highest village in Scotland and sits in the heart of the Glenlivet region. The distillery nestles on the edge of the Glenlivet estate and draws its water from the Ballantruan Spring. Four million years of water has been flowing through the mountainside near the distillery, naturally filtered, soft, fresh water which is perfect for whisky distillation.
In a world focused on reducing energy costs and reducing our carbon footprint it’s worth noting that three distilleries in the Speyside region who are owned by three different owners have joined forces by building a gas pipe-line 16 miles long. This will link Tomintoul, Glenlivet, Tormore and Cragganmore, eliminating fuel oil energy usage completely and reduce the carbon footprint by up to a third.
Tomintoul is equipped with a Mash Tun which can process 11.6 tonnes of barley, it has six washbacks all made of stainless steel and have a fermentation time of 54 hours. It boasts two pairs of large stills. It currently processes 15 mashes per week and has a warehouse that stores a capacity of 116,000 casks.
Watch out for lightly and heavily peated spirit produced yearly at around 55ppm.
Tomintoul is usually bottled at 40% abv but there are some exceptions to this rule.
Tomintoul 14 Years Old
If you’re after a whisky for the summer months it’s something that is generally hard to find. Lots of whiskies present a rich sherry character or are very heavily developed with peat or smoke.
The Tomintoul 14 Years Old delivers something lighter and playful. This whisky is spirit dominated and has a perfect balance of spirit and oak. On the nose it delivers summer fruits, strawberries, blackberries and toffee sweetness. It also has a little spice giving it a bit of a kick. The palate is clean and shows plenty of fruity characteristics, spicy oak and vanilla. Creamy honey custard, ripe summer fruits, hints of wild fennel and waves of floral elegance. The finish is dry and sweet with peppery layers.
Scored by Jim Murray in 2012 as a 96/100.
(Jim Murray is recognised internationally as the leading commentator on the world’s whiskies and Jim Murray’s whisky Bible. published yearly is the world’s biggest selling whisky book.)
Jim Murray’s Comments……..Just how many variations on a honeyed theme can you get? Here I count at least five, each wave coming in after the other; medium length but sheer quality all the way. Bird’s custard with drier, playfully spice, oaky vanillas……not a single weakness. Just a magnificent whisky bottled the way it is meant to be.
Matured in fresh ex-bourbon barrels for 14 years and bottled at 46% with no chill filtration. This whisky is a whisky club recommended must have for your next meeting.
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