The Tomintoul-Glenlivet distiller is situated in the Speyside Region on the Glenlivet estate outside of Tomintoul village. It was founded in 1964 by two Glaswegian whisky traders Hey & Macleod and W and S. Strong.
Over the years it has changed hands many times however for the last 20 years has been under the watchful eye of Master Distiller Robert Flemming – a fourth generation whisky distiller. Starting out as a relatively small operation production was doubled in 1974 thanks to the installation of two extra stills.
Tomintoul whisky has won many awards in its time – including a Guinness World Record for producing the largest bottle of whisky in the world! A massive 105.3 liter bottle of 14-year-old Tomintoul!
Tomintoul is created using natural ingredients. Pure spring water used throughout the creation of this wonderful whisky that has been drawn from the Ballantruan Spring. The water from this spring is so pure that it took a year of searching water sources to find something as pure as this. It’s combined with freshly grown barley and yeast, coupled some passion, talent and care, and finished with a dose of father time.
Tomintoul is made using many processes to ensure that very little gets wasted. They recycle the cold water that is used for cooling the hot vapor that rises from the spirit to heat the wort. It’s also mixed with the left over barley husks left behind from the mash to make syrup that’s used as cattle food. Anything left over after the second distillation makes great fertilizer for next year’s crop of barley. The environment that surrounds the distillery can be tasted in every glass, which is why it’s important to savor every last drop of Tomintoul.
Most casks used for maturing Tomintoul whisky are made from ex-American oak barrels and have previously stored bourbon. European oak casks are first used for maturing fortified wines such as sherry and port. Brand new casks over-power the subtle flavors of Scotch Whisky, so it’s preferable to use “seasoned” casks that have held other types of alcohol. It’s important to note that Whisky hasn’t always been matured in casks, and the benefit of maturing it was actually discovered by accident. Legend has it that back in the days of illicit distilling, when stills were hidden away all over Scotland, one insignificant cask left forgotten led to shape the rich flavorsome spirit that we know today.
Tomintoul Aged 10, 14, 16, 21, 33, 1976 Years and Tomintoul Vintage Single Cask are matured in ex-bourbon casks made from American white oak.
Tomintoul Aged 12 Years Oloroso is firstly matured in ex-bourbon casks, then “finished” for up to three years in European oak wood casks from Spain that have previously contained sherry.
Tomintoul 12 Portwood Finish uses ex-portwood casks from Portugal, also made from European oak to give it that district port flavour.
Each finished bottle of Tomintoul Whisky is made by marrying together an expertly selected range of different casks. This ensures each bottle has the correct characteristics, best quality and flavor expected of each expression.
Most Tomintoul whiskies have an age statement on the label. The age represents the very youngest whisky that has been used, even if other whiskies in the bottle are older. This is a legal requirement. Older whiskies, matured for longer, often become more complex in flavor. Preference is largely determined by personal taste; you can find that you’ll fall in love with our whiskies at any age.
All whisky from Tomintoul are carefully selected when the Master Distiller thinks they are just right, and each has a unique flavor profile.
The starting point for this months tasting journey. This dram has s a delightful taste that is very smooth and gentle.
A terrific dram for beginners of those wanting to try something a bit lighter and easy going.
Nose: Hints of citrus, with honey tones and a whiff of mountain heather.
Palate: Round, creamy sweetness balanced by gentle oaky spice.
Finish: A surge of sweetness swiftly pursued by tingling spice.
The next dram for tonight is the Tomintoul 12. Like it's younger brother it is matured in ex-american oak casks however for the last few months it is finished off in ex-oloroso sherry casks.
This gives it the distinct rich red/gold colour.
It's another really light and gentle whisky.
Nose: Much sweeter thanks to the sherry influence.
Palate: Sweet and mild. Not very sharp going down and a lot of vanilla and oak.
Finish: Light spice but very gentle.
The third dram in this stellar lineup starts to take on a lot more of the oak characteristics of the barrel.
Darker in colour and becoming much more mature than the 10 year old.
You will notice that there is a lot more of that "take your breath away" whisky hotness thanks to the higher ABV (46%) as opposed to the first two.
Colour: Straw gold.
Nose: Delicate, honeyed-cream with light floral malt, hints of wild fennel and a complex of sweetness.
Palate: Elegant, round, soft and gentle. Dry oak vanillas and a clean malt with some creamy sweetness.
Finish: Long and creamy with proclivity to dryness & a slight peppery tone.
Our fourth dram of the evening is the oldest of the lineup.
The significantly darker appearance should now give you a hint of the depth of flavour that awaits.
Colour: Amber gold.
Nose: Soft fruits with hints of hazelnut and vanilla.
Palate: Full flavour, nutty with spicy overtones.
Finish: Creamy and velvety at first with, a spicy finish.
This no aged statement dram is the only peated malt made by Tomintoul. The nose is a very great representation of what you are about to taste and gives everything away.
Like a mild campfire this dram is light and easy to go down. I have found it a really great offering for those new to peated whiskies.
Colour: Light sunshine.
Nose: A strong campfire smell with hints of vanilla sweetness.
Palate: Surprisingly mild, distinct smoky taste but not overpowering. Gives way to oaky sweetness by the end.
Finish: A little bit of charcoal but like the rest of the lineup, just very gentle.