Tomatin Cuatro series
A few months ago, there was a Twitter tasting involving Tomatin's new range of sherry finished whiskies. I didn't take part, however, my Twitter friend Simon Smith kindly offered me some leftover samples from the event. I sent him a couple of drams to say thanks and got stuck in.
All four expression are 12 years old and spent the first nine in American oak barrels. They were then transferred to four different sherry butts (Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez) for a further three years before being bottled.
What's really interesting about these is seeing how the various sherries affected the spirit and although the bottles will be long gone by now, all four offered something worthwhile and different. If you see any of the four on your travels, go for it! Also, all four are bottled at 46% and are non-chill filtered.
The nose was sweet with vanilla, Maltesers chocolates, butter icing, walnuts and alight strawberry jam. After a while in the glass, a lovely apple turnover scent emerged. There was also a hint of salt and a white flower note. A really beautiful smell.
On the palate there was a delicious jam note along with figs, toffee, mocha coffee and wood-infused golden syrup. There was also a slight acetone note kicking around, too,
The finish was spicy with a touch of pepper, vanilla and cranberry, while creamy white chocolate notes came through along with a touch of grapefruit and a well-fired pecan pie.
Straight off the bat, I smelled hard toffee, toasted granary bread and dark fruit notes such as blackcurrant, damson and mushed up strawberries. There was a pasty note there which reminded me of a sugar-topped donut and I also picked up undiluted Ribena, fresh mint, cumin seeds and a hint of slow gin.
In the mouth it was sweet and incredibly mouthwatering thanks to the abundance of juicy blackcurrants, apples and plums. There was also a hint of spicy cinnamon. The finish continued the sweet tastes along with toffee, dark chocolate, prunes and lots of dry wood tastes.
On the nose I immediately got orange, juicy pears, apples, blackberries, blackcurrants and strawberries. There was also treacle toffee, vanilla fudge, some granary toast notes again, pine needles, juicy fruit chewing gum, gooseberries, brown sugar and golden syrup.
The dark fruit notes returned on the palate along with caramel, fruit and nut chocolate bars, a touch of coffee and a slight bitter note ran all the way through.
The finish had a lovely deep sherry character along with bitter dark chocolate, treacle, damson jam, mint, a hint of creme brulee and sticky toffee pudding.
Cuatro Pedro Ximinez
Hard boiled sherbet lemons hit me straight away on the nose, followed by cola cubes, Edinburgh rock, apple juice, white sugar and a hint of marzipan. The granary toast note from the last two was nowhere to be found and the whole dram was incredibly sweet.
On the palate, there was hard boiled fruit-flavoured sweets, treacle, woody cinnamon sticks and lots of honey-slathered dry oak. The finish was spicier than the other three, along with baked apples, prunes, red grape skins, raisins and a hint of milk chocolate.
Four cracking whiskies and my favourites in order were: Manzanilla, Oloroso, Fino and Pedro Ximinez. Hopefully this will become a regular release from Tomatin as all four were quite special.