Review No.87. Tomintoul 14 Year Old

The Speyside region is saturated with distilleries, so much so that I sometimes struggle to distinguish anything unique amongst many of them.  This is perhaps unfair given that I have only really got as far as the core entry level bottles for all of them and have only delved further in the range on offer from Glenfarclas and Aberlour.  If you visit the Tomintoul website there is quote taken from Jim Murray questioning how much variations of the honey theme are possible. I ask the same question too, like with bourbon, how many variations on the vanilla theme can you get? Anyway, this 14 year old single malt is not the entry bottle as they also have a 10 year old as well as couple of non age statements.  Their range is extensive and they describe their whiskies as the gentle dram.  I skipped the 10 year old bottle and went straight for this one based on the positive glowing reviews I was seeing online amongst the whisky community.


Whisky: Tomintoul 14 Year Old Single Malt Whisky, 46%

Nose: Strawberry, vanilla custard, doughnut, barley, floral, heather

Taste: Strawberry berries, red grape, bread-y undertone, lemon cake

Finish: Barley, herbal tea, oak and tobacco

Score: 4

Summary: Amongst all those Speysiders this gentle dram stands out to me.  It delivers from the nose to the finish and displays a level of complexity that I don’t often find within this price range amongst other typical Highland/Speyside malts.  It begins with fresh juicy fruitiness and this carries on into the taste but supported by a nice undertone of malt and oak.  It makes for a great summer sipper.  It only needs a drop of water to open it up.  I could not tell that this was bottled at 46%, such us the finesse in the delivery.  I can definitely see why they describe their whiskies as the gentle dram and I believe this is the type of whisky that will many non whisky drinkers over.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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