I’m rather ashamed to write that I am almost a Tomintoul virgin, having tasted so little of their line. But as it happens a few weeks ago I saw them twitting about a twitter tasting event featuring the 1981 vintage, and quickly registered on their Facebook page, to participate in the event. A few days later I got an email confirming that I’m indeed in, nice!
The tasting was about to take place May 29th 1900 GMT, and the samples have been mailed about two weeks ago, but as those things go, you never know when mail is going to actually arrive. Two days ago i was quite sure the samples are not going to make it on time, but the whisky fairy was kind enough to deliver the sample a few hours before the event (it was a close one!), and happily I could join the rest of my whisky friends for the event. The event was run by Tomintoul and joining was Robert Fleming, master distiller for Tomintoul. We started with the 21 year old:
Nose: Lovely vanilla strawberry ice-cream with some wood, apples , stewed fruit, and fresh wet grass. some fruit candy as Tom put it: "wham" bars (again i had no idea what those were, but quite agree).some pencil boxes.
Palate: Starts with quite some spice, then getting creamy and nutty with nice wood and vanilla sweetness, then getting drier with some chocolate and cream, bitter towards the end
finish :bitter chocolate powder, wood, vanilla and wood.
A beautiful dram, complex, very fruity, creamy, a lot of chocolate with enough wood and spice. quite delicious, and easy to drink. I wonder how much better it would be at say 48% or a bit more. Loved this one.
We then move to the older brother, 1981 vintage, single cask , bottled at 53.9% abv, the real deal.
Palate: Very nice notes of tropical fruit salad , major red grapefruit notes , some grapefruit pith - rather spicy too.
Finish: Medium-long with some grapefruit, wood and milk chocolate.
This is a bolder dram, very intense and lovely, a bit less complex in my opinion than the 21 yo, but very enjoyable on the palate, beautiful stuff.
both are excellent whiskies, if I have to choose and have real life money constraints, i’d go for the 21 yo no doubt as it’s excellent and quite affordable and it’s BFYB score is very high. If money is no option, I’d get the 1981, which is hedonistically good, rich, and looks very nice in the decanter. beautiful whisky.
many thanks for the chaps at Tomintoul for the chance to taste those two new (to me) excellent whiskies. It was a real treat.
official samples provided by Angus Dundee.