Thursday, December 22, 2016

Whisky Review: Tomatin 14 years Port Casks Highland Single Malt

At Christmas time, I gravitate towards sherried malts and port wood finishes.  This holiday season is no exception.

Today I want to introduce you to Tomatin 14 years Port Finish Single Malt.



Natural Color?

Chill Filtration?
No! (Yeah!)

Wood Management Note
12 years in ex-Bourbon casks followed by 18 - 24 months in port pipes (yeah!!!).

Nose (undiluted)
Vanilla, nutmeg, oak, sawdust, damp wood, forest leaves, cooked apples.

Palate (undiluted)
Creamy port, dark chocolate, light spiciness of berries, fig and pecans.  The body is light!

Finish (undiluted)
Herbaceous, mineral water notes, grapefruit, blood oranges and apricot.
Finish is long.

General Impressions
At 46% ABV you are probably thinking it is going to be a little fiery and hot.  Not the case here!  The master blender has done a wonderful job in delivering a balanced, textured and not over the top dram.  There is a spiciness on the palate, but it is gentle.  The body of this malt is fairly light unlike it competitor like Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 years that is heavier and a wee jammy.  What sets this port wood finish malt apart from other port finished malts is how it starts with traditional port flavors (fig, strawberry, nutmeg) and then becomes surprisingly citrusy with grapefruit and apricot.  A real transition that works very well!  A lot of port finish malts start with those typical port notes and build from there as would be the case with Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban or the far more expensive Balvenie 21 year old port wood.

You could add water certainly and you should experiment.  I am just am hooked on the neat taste of this malt.

Between now and New Year's this will be my dram to warm me from the cold winter!

Merry Christmas!

Jason Debly


  1. Nice review, Jason. Tomatin, for no particular reason, is a distillery I have avoided. You have convinced me to try and find this one.

    BTW, is that a Seiko Orange Monster you are sporting on your left wrist? I'm a watch collector, just curious.


    1. Hi! In the past, you had good reason to avoid the Tomatin distillery, but their owner is really trying to improve the single malt releases by revamping them. This is really a good choice worth seeking out. Coincidentally, I had the Balvenie Portwood 21 years at a friends today and must say it is just a smidgen better but for three times the price of the Tomatin it should be way superior.

      Yes, I was wearing a Seiko Orange Monster. Has been a great watch. The lens is virtually scratch proof. No scratches. Highly recommended. By the way, I just picked up an Orient Star Automatic that will probably appear in my next review!

      Have a Happy New Year!

  2. I had a bottle of the Balvenie 21 Portwood a few years ago from LAX duty free. $165 US and I was underwhelmed.

    I have a Black Monster and I'm just about to order an Orient Sun and Moon, blue dial. The Seiko Alpinist is a sweet one too. Nice to find someone who's into whisky and watches. You don't happen to like fountain pens too, do you?

    Best for the new year.

    1. Orient Sun and Moon, very nice! I like fountain pens too, but after losing two rather expensive ones, I just have one left at home that never leaves home.

      Cheers and have a great New Year!

  3. Hi Jason. A Happy New Year to you from Montreal. How would this compare to the Hart Bro`s port finished blended malt you reviewed around this time last year? Regards, Lupo

    1. The Tomatin is lighter, more delicate, probably due to the lower but still substantial ABV of 46%. For those reasons, the Tomatin is a wee bit better, but not by much. Both are very good. Cheers!

    2. Thanks Jason. From the notes you provided it appeared to a bit of a less robust whisky.
      Hope all is well and that the ice storm didn't affect you or your loved ones too badly. Sending well wishes your way from Mtl.

    3. Fortunately, the ice storm was not an issue for me. Thanks!

  4. Great post. I have spent too much time in singapore really i enjoyed.Last new year I have celebrate with my friends we have ordered online alcohol.