Jan 5, 2014

Tomatin Decades...

Tomatin Decades (46.0%): My 42nd birthday dram for this year! So appropriate... Thanks to Joe Howell and Teresa Hartmann for pointing me to the right direction when I was looking for a special bottle. Decades is created to celebrate the master distiller and brand ambassador Douglas Campbell's 50th year at Tomatin. The whisky is a vat of several casks from each decade selected by Campbell himself: A unique 1967 refill sherry hogshead, 1976 oloroso sherry butts, 1984 refill sherry hogsheads and first fill ex-bourbon barrels from 1990 and 2005. I first had the chance to taste this dram at Whisky Fest New York 2011 when it was first released. Actually Mr. Campbell himself poured me some that night and I remember that it was my favorite dram of the event. Later our paths crossed a couple more times with Decades but I never could spend quality time with it. Now finally at a snowy weekend night after the holidays I have the bottle in front of me. Let's talk about it in depth this time... Color: Light amber, oak aged chardonnay. Nose: Spearmint flavored toothpaste, butter pecan ice cream and lemon meringue pie. French brioche just taken out of the oven; warm and a slice of butter melting on it. Blackberries, honeydew, blue Gatorade and apricot danish. Palate: I was expecting a fruitier palate after what I got from the nose but it is closer to the vegetal side: Fresh mint leaves and dandelion leaves. Anjou pears and papaya. Cinnamon dusting, dried strawberries, brown sugar and butter custard. Finish: Not long but warming and old school. Wood chips, salted grapefruit, burnt sugar flan and salted almonds. Overall: Well balanced, smooth and creamy. Simply a "damn good whisky", nothing more or less. It tastes like a whisky from 70's. Well done Mr. Campbell... I am not going to hide that Tomatin is one of my favorite underdogs among Scotch distilleries with Bladnoch and Ben Nevis but this expression definitely doesn't need any push from me. Get a bottle while you still have a chance to find one around...