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Being a big big fan of the distillery's 16 year old expression I couldn't resist getting a bottle of there new 21 year old bottling when I saw it sitting there on the shelf of my whisky dealership earlier this week. A quick thumb through their copy of the bible 2012 confirmed that Mr Murray was a fan too (and yes I probably would jump off a bridge if he told me it was an experience worthy of 93.5 pts :)) The bottle was purchased and here we are now, so to the nitty gritty...
Nose; Apples and pears (not cockney rhyming slang, it doesn't smell of stairs..) Very, very fresh, full of fruit, light and delicate. Beautiful, but if anything its weakest characteristic.
Taste; Apple again, vanilla coming through after a while, raisin. A bit of a bread and butter pudding feel going on after a while. Very gentle, the 40% ABV meaning it just coasts along rather than really taking off, but this is one to just be patient with, nurse, and let it slowly win you over. A few sips in, you really appreciate just how wonderful the taste is. The 16yo is great, an extremely quaff-able malt. This though I am just in awe of. The benefit of the extra 5 years maturation? You can only assume so.
Finish; Maybe it dies off just a tad sooner than you would like. Very small gripe.
In summary; This is I think, the tastiest whisk(e)y I have had yet. It doesn't have the complexity of the A'bunadh or quite the all round magnificence of the Highland Park 18, but on enjoyment of taste I think it's peerless. Yes it lacks a bit of bite, but I think that is by design to be in keeping with Tomintoul's "gentle dram" sensibilities.
Tomintoul is I believe the highest village in the highlands. The whisky that bears its name is , too, above all others around it, in my humble opinion. Totally superb.