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Tomintoul 21 Year Old

Average score from 5 reviews and 6 ratings 87

Tomintoul 21 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Tomintoul
  • Bottler: Unknown
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 21 year old

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Tomintoul 21 Year Old

This was a 3cl miniature bottle I got free when I brought a bottle of Balblair online. I've poured it out and let it sit for an hour.


Orchard fruits. Pears, green apples, cut grass, heather, a hint of dried fruit in the background and curiously plasticine. Quite a clean nose but that plasticine note is a bit strange.


Quite a thin mouthfeel (it is bottled at 40% abv). That plasticine note is quite evident on the palate too. Right there on the arrival. It's an unusual flavour and an unwelcome one too. Orchard fruits again. Heather. Not much in the way of dried fruits. I don't have the label to see but I don't think this has spent any time in sherry casks. Quite a long development with a white wine note, pears, straw and more plasticine. Finish is drawn out, actually quite nice with a bit of peat. And then jesus here comes the plasticine again on the finish. It runs right through every element of the palate and ruins it. You get past the initial plasticine note and then it starts to hint at getting quite nice and then the plasticine kicks in again.

I don't know what that is due too? Duff casks? Maybe I just had a sample from a bad bottle? But at nearly £100 a bottle I won't be a buying a full bottle on this experience.

I'd still recommend the 14 year old though. The bottle I had of that last year was very nice.

@Wierdo - Reminds me of my experience with Glencadam 10. A nice enough whisky but it had a Play Doh note in it that I just couldn't get over.

Like you, I'd guess it's of cask origin but I'd like to know a bit more about that as I've never encountered it again (seems quite unusual too) and the older ones get very decent reviews.

The study of Plasticine in whisky - Morph-ology? I'll get me coat smile

I wondered @Victor if you think when we get an obviously bad sample we should refrain from reviewing? On the one hand it's useful for people to know that their is potentially a tainted batch of Tomintoul 21 out there. On the other hand it seems perhaps a bit harsh to give a scathing review of a whisky based on a very limited experience of it.

I have last year's whisky bible and Jim Murray gave this 94 and said if it has been 46% it would have been pushing 100. Now I don't always agree with Murray's reviews and his hyperbole and sometimes shake my head at his scores. But he obviously reviewed a whisky that wasn't just a mouthful of plasticine and I did get hints that this actually could be a very good whisky before the plasticine taste kicked in again.


Nose: Soft yet tangy berries. Vanilla and Honey, a very slight whiff of smoke. Floral but not overpowering. Maybe a slight touch of spice. This is mellow and relaxing, yet satisfyingly complex.

Palate: Quite strongly floral, with lavender at first but quickly calms down to malt and honey. Slightly cerealy - I don't get the fruits so much on the palate. Smooth and velvety but it does become a bit flat and is disappointing compared to the very promising nose.

Finish: A bit of redemption here - long, fairly dry and the fruits do now return. Pleasant sweetness lingers for a considerable time.

I'd mark this into the 90s if the palate had sustained itself. Nevertheless, this is a very pleasant, calming and easy drinking dram.


This is a really lovely dram. A soft nose, fruity with some oak. The mouth feel is soft, smooth and creamy. Vanilla, delicate fruits, apples with apricot. It is very drinkable. The finish is mildly spicy from the oak, apricots and light fruits. Pears, melons. Not hugely complex but still Lovely.


Nose: Lovely vanilla strawberry ice-cream with some wood, apples , stewed fruit, and fresh wet grass. some fruit candy as Tom put it: "wham" bars (again i had no idea what those were, but quite agree).some pencil boxes.

Palate: Starts with quite some spice, then getting creamy and nutty with nice wood and vanilla sweetness, then getting drier with some chocolate and cream, bitter towards the end

finish :bitter chocolate powder, wood, vanilla and wood.

Have you tried the Tomintoul 16? Any good?

@galg Wham bars... Wow now there's a blast from my childhood. Think of bright coloured Taffy bars with sherbet bits embedded. I might have to try this now.


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.

This sounds fantastic. A quaff-able gentle dram, sounds my kind of thing to be sure. Due to my inexperience I also tend to be guided by Mr Murray and of course Ralfy. I'll add this to my wish list and keep an eye out for it. Great review, you're really 'getting your eye in' with them now. Well done indeed.

You're too kind Iain!

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