...where distraction is the main attraction.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Single Malt Report: Tomintoul 33 year old

Distillery: Tomintoul
Age: 33 years old
Region: Highlands - Speyside
Alcohol by Volume: 43%

From Royal Mile Whiskies:
Tomintoul - pronounced 'Tomintowel' - is Scotland's highest village and has become infamous for regularly being cut off due to heavy snow.

From The Guide:
The distillery was built in the 1960s and is modern in appearance, with large warehouses and no pagoda roofline.  The wildness of the surroundings contrasts with the delicacy of the district's malts.  Tomintoul has traditionally seemed the lightest among them in flavor, although it has a little more body than its neighbor Tamnavulin.

thekrav's notes:

Part of a 3-pack of 50mL Tomintoul bottles that I purchased at Fortnum and Mason in London.  I reported on the first bottle, the 10-year, here, and then the very good 16-year.  At 33 years this is the oldest bottling that Tomintoul has ever put out, replacing their popular 27-year.

You read that right, this is the 33-year-old.  The whisky and the blogger both.  I actually saved this specifically for my 33rd birthday in August.  Three months of antagonizing anticipation for this, the oldest drink I've ever had.

I won't bury the lead here.  I like the 16 year-old better.

That's not to say that this dram isn't lovely.  It's smooth as water.  Light and airy like a whisper.  The downside: it's neither particularly interesting or unique.  This is a $200 whiskey (for the 700mL bottle), so it should be a little memorable.  OR perhaps, this was the moment that I began to tire of ultra-gentle Speysides.

So what I'm saying is that it's me.  Not the Tomintoul 33.

The color isn't that dark from all of those years in the barrel, maybe even a tad lighter in shade than the 16.  It has a light nose, a touch of sherry and sweets with a bit of ethanol.  As I mentioned, it's incredibly smooth to the feel and palate.  Like sherry and cream and clouds.  But mostly clouds.  It finished warmly and evenly.

Even though it was the oldest whisky I've yet tried, it wouldn't make it into my Top 10.  In fact, I kind of forgot about it by the end of the night, but that's probably because I later sampled two other (much younger and cheaper) whiskies that are currently Top 5ers.  But more on those another time.

Tomintoul 33 was quite good, but at this age and this price range (and within Tomintoul's whisky range alone) one can do better.  But the 33-year was the smoothest of the three Toms that I had sampled.  So if gentleness is one's desire, and if one has the financial means, then this is a good match.

Pricing - Overpriced! at $200
Rating - 82