The arrival of Summer means a definite shift in preferred flavour profiles in my everyday drams. Out goes the peaty winter warmers and in comes the light, fruity and zesty summer drams.
I suppose like many I prefer to spend my Winter on Islay and my Summer in Speyside…
Tomintoul is, as brands go, flying under the radar (much the same can be said of its Angus Dundee stablemate Glencadam too) I recently spent a little time going through the Tomintoul core range and one expression for me stood out head and shoulders above the others.
Tomintoul’s claim to be “the gentle dram” probably does it no real favours, at least in terms of attracting those who are already within the category, as in many an experienced drinkers mind gentle can always be misconstrued as perhaps lacking a little character or perhaps being pleasant but forgettable.
Never let it be said the Angus Dundee haven’t listened to what customers are wanting. After gathering feedback they’ve introduced the Tomintoul 14 as part of their core range of expressions. Bottled at 46% abv (as compared to the majority of the Tomintoul range being bottled at 40%) and non-chill filtered there is on paper a little more to be excited about.
How does in fare in practice however?
Tomintoul 14, OB, 46%abv, press sample (available here)
The nose is light and zingy. Full of lemon meringue pie, distant cut grass, apricots, honey and kiwi. There is a nice back and forth transition between lemon and lime in the background too. As it develops there is a subtle note reminiscent of fresh baked pastries.
The palate is full of fresh vanilla, milk chocolate and a delicious maltiness. Custard creams dunked in banana milkshake with a twist of light spice. The mouthfeel feels thick and delicious, presenting the flavours incredibly well.
The finish has rising spices, touches of faint pine resin, distant oak and a twist of white pepper.
Worthy of note is the old school packaging that still refers to Speyside-Glenlivet. The practice of suffixing the Glenlivet name goes back to the mid 1800’s and is mainly the preserve of Independent bottlers these days, it is nice to see a little historical throwback on the label.
A genuinely brilliant and delightful little dram. I really, really do recommend you pick up a bottle.
Get one whilst the sun is still shining (or at lest before the rain starts)
You can find more of my tasting notes in the Amateur Drammers Archives.
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