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Tomatin 18 Year Old

Tomatin vertical tasting finale

5 886

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

9th Nov 2018

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    21
  • Overall
    86

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The grand finale in tonight's vertical tasting is the Tomatin 18 Year Old. This one is finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. No mention of how long.

  • Nose (undiluted): dry sherry, raisins, walnuts, dark chocolate, oak, a bit of char, and something herbal, maybe some rosemary
  • Palate (undiluted): rich mouthfeel, obvious sherry influence, vanilla, some cinnamon, orange zest
  • Finish: medium length, bright grapes, vanilla, green apples, some oak notes and a touch of coffee and cocoa powder lingering

Everything seems right, but I want more out of this whisky. I want more...something. I'm not sure what's lacking, but it isn't blowing me away. Maybe it's palate fatigue, but I don't think so. It's almost like the flavours aren't quite clear or defined enough, like watching a VHS on an old tv set when you're used to blu-ray and a 4K television. It gets better with a longer rest in the glass, but I still want more...(clarity?) from this whisky. It would be interesting to see what time and air exposure did to a full bottle of this. There's a lot of potential and lots of good flavours, but they don't feel fully integrated. Would I buy a bottle of this? Maybe, if the price was right, I would. I feel like time and air would bump this up 3 or 4 points for me.

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8 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

In my job insight is very important. This review displays a lot of it.

Of the three minis in the set, I think I remember liking this the best. I agree it is the best of the bunch, but it could still be so much more. I would probably have scored it 80-82.

The tasting set really threw me off Tomatin forevermore...

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, yes, I think that you are precisely right when you say that 'time and air' would likely bump the score for the Tomatin 18 yo up 3 or 4 points for you. I had that exact experience with my sister's 750 ml bottle.

Even Highland Park 18 doesn't usually taste like much out of a mini. I know. I reviewed it from one and later felt like I had done it an injustice. But what are we to do? People drink whisky from everything from newly opened bottles to 40+ yo opened bottles.

What we could do, but never will, because it is 10 x as much work, is do reviews in the style of @systemdown, elaborate detailed time studies, which put 4 or 5 reviews into the space of one. Those reviews are wonderful, but if that is what we all did, almost no one would want to undertake the task of reviewing. There would then be no reviews ever of a single sample of anything.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@OdysseusUnbound was your tasting set one with the old livery with the black labels?

I think this review is a good occasion to ponder how when dealing with a sample it can be hard to suss out a whisky completely. It's like sketching something out quickly knowing the model or scenery will change soon. You get a good impression of the main points and lines but there's nuances and finer points you would miss from repeat exposures.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@cricklewood That’s the set. These sample-reviews are challenging, regardless of whether it is a sample from someone else’s bottle or a pre-packaged 50ml sample. One taste of any whisky is, as has been mentioned, a snapshot in time. It can give readers a general overview, but it has to be put into context. If I own a full bottle of what I’m reviewing, I like to wait until at least half the bottle is gone, preferably giving me the chance to taste and update my notes at :

  • freshly opened
  • 1 week later
  • 1 month later
  • 3 months later

It might be interesting to write the notes this way, but I generally don’t do it like that, as it might be too long and tedious for readers. Heck, there are only 90-110 views of each blog post I do anyway...I don’t want to drive anyone away. stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@OdysseusUnbound,

I feel the same way as you. I much prefer to try a whisky successively over a period of time to get a better understanding of it prior to review. It can often mean a few points up or down from my initial impression.

I will often state it in a review if all I've had is a sample.

That said multiple session reviews poses it's own set of challenges, trying to combine or pare down your notes and not ramble too long on a subject. From reading what people are looking for in a review on this forum and the stats on my blog you'd be hard pressed to pin down one unifying view on the subject

I find the blog stats funny, if I had a dollar for everytime a particular review was seen I could buy premium whisky. Others I wouldn't even be able to buy candy.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, yes, like that! Are you ready to do another 100 reviews in that format?

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Yes...in time...

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

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