Friday, 27 March 2009
Tomintoul 16-year-old 40% Dram #3
I get very sentimental with this dram which is, as can be dolefully seen, almost gone. My "seeing of the light" in whisky terms occured during an October half-term holiday in the Braemar area (quite why we didn't visit Royal Lochnagar as well has never been satisfactorily explained to me) and to help in the appointing of our remote holiday cottage we had been sourced a bottle of the 10-year-old sibling. The epiphany would come a few days later at The Glenlivet but in between times a combination of the youngest "gentle dram" and water straight from the tap, itself no doubt straight from some burn, was a drink so quietly magnificent I've yet to repeat it more than forty drams later. So I decided that I really had to have a bottle of this.
Just one of the many facets behind my love of whisky is my aunt: living in Scotland, a passionate whisky drinker and to whom clings a web of incredibly diverse whisky-related acquaintances. She bought this from "my wee man in Aboyne" who was doing very well at shifting what stocks the tiny distillery sent him. With the above in mind, no wonder its score of '71' can't be trusted. However, I don't care if it is refuted or not. Every measure gives me infinite pleasure. It makes me a poet before I know it.
It's furniture fixture brassiness of colour seems to be an identical hue to the 10 and 27-year-olds but its smooth arable aroma has little of the latter's Sherry influence. The cooked apple note is delicious but better still is the scent (perversely) of the empty glass! The hedonism can continue long after the taste of dates, plain chocolate and gingerbread have all but retired from your palate. For it is gorgeously long, perhaps lending itself to an aperitif which is how I shall soak up the remainder. It is genuinely a gentle dram with idiosyncracies slow to emerge. Being so close to The Glenlivet, however: in actuality and in my mind - drinking it recalls standing in the more famous distillery's car park and simply experiencing the atmosphere: the breezes barrelling into the glen bottom, bringing the scents of mash and heather with them. For me then, it is a somaesthetic/ expressionistic/ impressionistic dram, one that evokes a breathless few months, coloured by the thrill of new love.
All in all, I can't wait to get hold of the "Peaty Tang" expression, and obviosuly a miniature of the 10-year-old for the purposes of neatness. The Tomintouls are all magnificent value and all to be found in The Whisky Shop. FYI, you know...