Unlike most other distilleries nowadays, Tomintoul has an abundance of age statements – the entry level 10 year-old, the staple 16, the various 12 and 15 year-old finishes and peated expressions, and the more high-end stuff at 18 years old and above. What they mostly have in common is the presentation – 40% ABV for the younger ones, 43% for the older, chill-filtration and caramel colouring. This is what sets the 14 year-old apart – it’s non chill-filtered and bottled at 46%. Until recently, it also had no added colouring, but unfortunately this is no longer the case.
(This sample was provided by Angus Dundee.)
Nose: Quite green in general – grassy and crisp. Some citrus fruit and maybe a hint of sweetness in the background, but it’s mostly sharp and dry.
Palate: There’s a pronounced cereal note with a hint of honey. This is accompanied by almonds and citrus fruit, but overall it’s on the dry and astringent end of the Speyside spectrum. Water does bring out a touch of icing sugar, however.
Finish: Medium, nutty and drying.
Comments: The Tomintoul 14 is an unassuming whisky, but it does have its charms – I like the natural, bourbon cask character and the fact that it eschews the generic, easy vanilla and fruit profile. It’s not exactly a favourite, but I’d never say no to a bottle!