Tomatin has been making a lot of good whisky lately, with many special releases aimed at the serious (or aspiring) Whisky Geek. Take a look at the “Cuatro” series (reviewed here) , and the other two releases (mainly for NL/DE) in which they paired the sherry in which the whisky was aged with the whisky (PX, and Oloroso and 2 single casks). It’s exciting to taste whisky that way, isn’t it? The Contrast is another combo, this time of two whiskies (no sherry here), which share a common vatting (vattings from the same six years (1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002 and 2006), but one of which was only matured in ex-Bourbon casks, while the other vatting was matured only in ex-Sherry casks. This way you can see how a similar spirit, gets altered in different ways (matured one would argue, is more befitting). A solid idea. The Contrast is not a new whisky, it’s been here for quite some time now ( a year almost), and Is still available online,which is really surprising as it is really good, even if you’re not into comparing, and it was quite limited to 5,400 boxes of two 0.35L bottles. Let’s go, starting with the Ex-Bourbon.
Nose: Lovely sweet golden syrup on entry, with clearly some older malt inside, exotic fruit : mainly pineapple, berries, a hint of strawberry, and some apple peel. Polished wood, and sweet perfumed wood.
Palate: Continuing the sweet and fruity nose, with mouthwatering sweet nectar, and the fruity edge is here too. Ripe watermelon, pineapple, caramelized biscuits (lotus), overripe orange, and delicious polished wood. Pepper and wood spices galore, getting dry with more delicious sandalwood and some nuts.
Finish: spicy wood, cocoa powder, nuts, chocolate.
Nose: This is indeed sweeter, and thicker with raisin fun, some Xmas cake, as well as toffeed apples, and old sherry going on,there’s also some wood, but it’s not quite as pronounced as it is in the ex-bourbon casks, or rather toned down, by the lovely sherry.
Palate: The Palate is also lovely, with quite a bit of spice supporting the sweet sherry / fruit marmalade (mainly orange), There’s clove, cinnamon, and some crushed pepper, giving it a nice spiciness, that works well with the ripe citrus, and berry notes, as well as with some wood char notes.
Finish: Sweet, spicy and sherried.
All in all this has been a very interesting experience. Both whiskies are very good, and feel lovely and mature with enough older whisky inside (the vatting is well thought of, and is the whole is definetly more than the sum of its parts). If I had to pick my favorite, I’d go with the ex-Bourbon casks, but only by points. You can still find this stuff on quite a bit of online sites at around £96 or so. Well done, again, Tomatin.
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