...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, October 27, 2023

Tomatin 12 year old 2005, Distillery Exclusive cask 2709

In 2016, I visited Tomatin distillery and sampled all five of their distillery exclusive casks, enjoying the bourbon cask the most. I did not purchase a bottle.

In 2017, Mr. Opinions visited Tomatin distillery and sampled all five of their distillery exclusive casks, enjoying the bourbon cask the most. He did purchase a bottle

Ah, life choices. (Disclaimer: We tried different casks, but still.)

Since the chef shared a generous sample of his hand-filled bottle, Diving for Pearls will now live vicariously through My Annoying Opinions.

Distillery: Tomatin
Ownership: Tomatin Distillery Co. (Takara Shuzo Co. Ltd., Kokubu & Co., The Marubeni Corp.)
Region: Highlands
Age: 12 years (26 May 2005 - 8 June 2017)
Maturation: bourbon cask
Cask #: 2709
Exclusive to: the distillery, circa 2017
Alcohol by Volume: 58.3%
(Thank you, Your Annoying Opinions!)


Different facets of the nose emerge with time. At first clementines, toasted oak, and cashews arise from the glass. After 15 minutes: Peach nectar and fresh rosemary. Then at ~30 minutes there's a fun combo of Cow Tales candy and vanilla cream-filled donuts. Maybe because I've been drinking mostly ≤46%abv whiskies recently, this Tomatin's neat palate reads a bit hot to my sensitive face. Mildly sweet citrus and tangy chiles cut through the burn, followed by pineapple, dried apricots, and a hint of strawberry candy. With less heat, the finish offers a nice mix of sweet and tangy. Tart citrus notes last the longest.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or >1½ tsp of whater per 30mL whisky

The nose turns prettier, full of flowers, peach skins, ground cloves and, yes, vanilla cream-filled donuts. I get a better read on the palate now, with its pineapple, plums, and pie crust. The finish matches the palate.


I looked back on my notes on the cask (#2592) I'd tried in 2016, and it was indeed very similar in character to #2709: fruity Highland spirit on top, good American oak on the bottom. Part of me wishes I'd bought my bottle, because what I really need is more things. Part of me sees its 62.1%abv and says, "Nope".

But this post isn't about the whisky I don't have, rather the whisky I do. Cask 2709 registers as a much better representative of the reliable Tomatin style than the bourbon cask Contrast, and (if one's palate was tougher than mine tonight) the whisky could prove to be a great springtime pour. It's good stuff, dang that Opinions Man.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86