Tomatin 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish (Official Bottling)

46% ABV, £48.95 for 70cl available from most major whisky retailers (e.g. The Whisky Exchange)

Score: 80/100

What they say:

Added to the core range in 2014, this whisky is soft and smooth with significant sweet influence from the Port casks. After spending time maturing in traditional oak casks, this particular Tomatin spends the last year of its maturation exclusively in Port pipes.

Aroma – Honeydew melon, red berries, baked apples. Rich toffee, butterscotch. Sweet honey and bitter dark chocolate.

Taste – Fruit and nut. Peaches, apricots, mango and plum. Mixed Walnut and Pecan.

Finish – Smooth fruit salad which lingers on the palate.

What I say:

Heralded  in our whiskileaks post here: Tomatin release new 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish and 1989 Vintage; this 14 year old Port Wood finish expression has joined the core Tomatin range and replaced the wholly Bourbon-matured 15 year old. I was a little sad to see the 15 go; I found it hard to choose between the Sherry influenced nutty chocolate bombshell of the Tomatin 18 and the Tropical fruits of the 15 yo. Unfortunately Tomatin have come to the conclusion the 15 yo wasn’t hitting the market requirements and so out came the 14 yo Port finish. How we happened by a sample of this was through both luck and gratitude. One of the many reasons (as if you need any!) to follow The Whiskyphiles through social media such as our Facebook or Twitter  accounts is that we advertise and pass on details of any whisky or whisky-related competitions we discover. Following the launch of the Tomatin 14, Tomatin ran a Facebook competition asking who you would share a samples with. Luckily a good friend of ours (and President of the Edinburgh University Water of Life Society) was selected as a winner; and so I found myself in possession of a 5cl bottle, graciously shared with us. (p.s. it is not manadatory should you win any of these competitions that you repay us in kindness – though we do love free whisky; it is our most favourite category of whisky!). So here’s what we thought.

Colour:

Coppery gold with a rosé blush

Nose:

Sweet nougat/confectionary, tropical fruits; papaya, mango, pineapple, honey, a little malted barley, jammy blackcurrants and candy floss (like a good old-fashioned sweet shop overall)

Taste:

Very sweet palate, reminiscent of plum duff (plum pudding), brown sugar, nutmeg spice and more fruity sweet cherries and plum influence from the port finishing

Finish:

Medium long, sweet with cereal and wood influences

Would I buy it:

Our overall opinion of this was a saccharine sweet confectionary of a dram which was highly drinkable. A definite summer whisky, this one was almost too sweet for my palate but I would expect it to pair well with savoury items usually paired with port such as a good strong blue cheese (e.g. Stilton) or one of my absolute favourite cheeses Morbier. I still miss the 15yo and think that I actually prefer that to this although there are some common elements in both, the port finish on this seems like a tactic to sweeten the whisky and release it a year younger, in the process this lacks the real fruit punch the 15yo gave out.