Tomatin are on a Roll: releasing some brilliant products recently (loved the new 14 year old!) and now this: the Cuatro range. Unfortunately i was not able to take part in the tweet tasting in which all was revealed, but prior to the event with only the “Cuatro” name as a hint (they would not reveal anything, sneaky devils) i had a few guesses as to what “Cuatro” might mean. I thought maybe it would be a vatting of 4 kinds of sherry casks, or a whisky finished in 4 different sherry wood types, and although i was very close i was also a bit off the mark, as I had not anticipated such a big release (in terms of expressions, not sheer number of bottles). Fortunately, i have some good whisky friends (thank you Ansgar and Thomas! – the WhiskySpeller guys), who were kind enough to offer me what was left of their samples when we met at maltstock (you rock guys!). After arriving back home after a few cracking days in the NL, and after giving my liver a day or two of rest (not total rest, but a bit…) i sat down to try the new range.
If you have not heard about the new range yet, here’s a bit of info:
The Tomatin Cuatro Series presents four unique limited edition expressions of Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
All distilled on the same day, the whisky was matured for nine years in traditional American Oak casks and was then transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. The range includes: Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez.
With its Spanish sherry inspiration, the name “Cuatro” is fitting as the Spanish word for “four”.
Graham Eunson, Distillery Manager, launched the new release with a Tweet Tasting on the evening of 3rd September, where selected tasters were provided samples of each expression along with its relevant Sherry. He said: “We are constantly striving to innovate and push boundaries and I believe Cuatro is a great example of something yet again different from Tomatin Distillery. Sherry is a key feature within our core range and this limited series allows us to delve deeper into the different effects it can have on our whisky.”
There are 1500 bottles of each expression available and each is expected to retail at £49.99.
Let’s dram, shall we?
Nose: citrusy while also displaying some cereals and nutty character. Fresh with bits of cucumber.
Palate: spicy with pepper and bits of chilly , with some sherry influence but not the sweet kind which is not surprising for a dry Fino cask. Nutty and a bit tannin-y. Malt and cereals too.
Finish : cereals. Bitter grape peel.
Nose: clearly bigger and thicker sherry influence here on the nose : some grapes and raisins but not the very sweet kind as this isn’t Oloroso or PX. Fresher stuff but more body than the Fino. Saline maybe.
Palate: thick and more wine-y but without being too sweet. A bit if salt and tannins galore. Nuts and raisins. Getting drier. Semi sweet Xmas cake not the syrupy stuff.
Finish: yeasty, and tannin-y with semi sweet fig and pepper.
Nose: bigger bolder and sweeter. With more nuts and dried fruit Xmas cake and old school boiled sweets. Wine and no salty notes whatsoever , but that’s no surprise from Oloroso. Us it?
Palate: thick chocolaty and sweet with raisin and date. Xmas fruitcake and cocoa on top with sweet and bitter orange peel that adds some balance (coated with dark chocolate)
Finish : tannins. Thick dried fruit paste and chocolate mouse with a pinch of pepper.
Nose: Oodles of sweet deep nectar and dried fruits in thick syrup. Dark cherries and light compote with a meaty edge.
Palate: sweet , peppery and thick. Plum juice and sweet wine with milk chocolate covered nuts. Meaty and chewable hints if malt.
Finish : malty with tons of chocolate covered sultana and ripe fig.
If i had to pick a favourite, I’d say it would be either the Fino, or the Manzanilla. I am not sure this will remain my choice when it cools down, but for this season, those are really the whiskies I’d go with. The Oloroso, and PX are also good (in that order), but heavier and sweeter, and maybe too sweet for me right now, but talk to me in a few month’s time , then i might change my mind as evenings get chilly (ok, not too chilly, it’s Israel) and the days are shorter.
Good stuff again, by Tomatin. Keep up the good work lads.
All four can be purchased on the Tomatin web shop, for £49.99!