Tomintoul ‘Vertical’

01 - All of them save for one

So it’s maybe a vertical? I mean, it goes up, but there’s a NAS in here. Better call /u/Loweel[1] in to discuss if it is or not.

For now, it’s in quotes. It’s vertical-ish. Even though I’m also missing the 25 year too.

A few years ago, when I started doing reviews of whisky (somewhere around the 100 review mark), a friend of mine asked me if I’d ever had anything from Tomintoul. And I had not.

At that time I may have acted embarrassed. Now I understand that it’s normal, however from my embarrassment I decided I’d try the ever loving shit out of Tomintoul.

So first I bought a sample pack. Then I traded for the 21. Then I did some other reviews, tried to find the port cask, couldn’t, and said fuck it.

Tomintoul Distillery is located on the Glenlivet estate, which is a National Park filled with distilleries.

Dear God, I may cry at the thought of it.

Tomintoul uses a ex-bourbon casks mainly, with some sherry and port casks used for some of the oddballs of the group. They are all about subtle-y and smoothness, and the vast majority of their products are at a low Abv.

That said, there’s not going to be much to say about each one. So instead, I’ll be writing each review as if I was the age of the whisky I’m reviewing.

Region: Speyside


02 - Tomintoul 10

Hi. My name is TOModera.

Tomintoul 10 is up first. My parents say it’s older people’s drinks. It’s one a lot of medals, like the Olympics, but for people with funny breath.

03 - Tomintoul 10

Price: Dad says that the lcbo is stupid and doesn’t get this.

Abv: 40%, which is a big number I can count to.

Colour: 2.5Y 8/8, or “yellow-white”, like the neighbour’s cat who scratches me.

Nose: Wood, alcohol, sauerbraten, unripe mango, light toffee

Smells like dad’s drinks and when we cut down those trees in the backyard.

I like toffee. I want some more.

Taste: Honey, smoke, burnt cake, pine, banana, apple

Tastes like fruit cake that mom burnt and said a bad word about. I helped make it. Also like honey, which I get at grandma’s house.

Finish: Butter, caramel, burnt sugar, lime, sugar

One time I was at a wedding, and they gave me these slush drinks that were green and I had some of mom’s and then went to get some from the lady who had them and she said I can’t.

Then I walked through mud in my shoes and a lady who smelled like booze danced with me. I got to stay up late.

Conclusion: This one time I tried mixing up all my food on my plate. I made a porcupine with my wood and it tasted funky.

Too much of dad’s coke in this. And it may have been burnt in the oven. Like the fruits. Did someone melt an ice cube in here? Tastes like that.

I’ll go play now.

74/100

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #253


04 - Tomintoul 12 Oloroso Sherry Cask

Shit. What’s sherry? Shit. I gotta ask mom. Or dad. They drink wine.

They said it was red. So it’s red.

Tomintoul 12 Oloroso Sherry Cask is up next, and I was chosen because I’m good enough to do it. I’ve won silver medals, just like this one. I’m great, and you should know that.

Well… maybe it was just silver coloured, and maybe it was on Nintendo, but I still did it, so I’m reviewing this one.

Oloroso comes from Spain. It is a fort-i-fied wine.

I’m a man now.

05 - Tomintoul 12 Oloroso Sherry Cask

Price: $97.95 (CAD) at the LCBO, where I have to keep my hands in my pockets.

Abv: 40%

Colour: 7.5YR 6/8

Nose: Raisin/currant, caramel, honey, butter, orange

Smells like Christmas pudding, but if grandma didn’t make it right, or like, when you, like, smell roast beef and you think it’s chocolate.

Smells sweet.

Taste: Butter, craisins, ginger, white sugar, prunes

I get craisins when I do well on spelling tests. This has a lot of sugar. Dad made me run around the block after having it.

Also there are prunes, and my great uncle gave me those once, and I pooped myself. HA!

Finish: Strawberry, peanut, fennel, herbal, nutmeg

Tastes like that time I ate all my Halloween candy at once and got in trouble and there were peanuts at the bottom of the bag.

Or like when you make your own toast and use the Italian seasoning too much.

Conclusion: I drink like a man now!

This tastes like red stuff, or froot by the foot. Which I’m only allowed one of and Mom thinks I don’t know where she hides it but I do. Yeah.

It was okay, I liked it.

I’m going to go play Nintendo now.

75/100


06 - Tomintoul 14

Fucking men drink this, and I’m a fucking man. Fuck yeah.

It’s fucking high Abv too. Fuckin right. Fuck.

14 years? That’s old man. Fucking right. This is drank by fucking manly men who fuck a lot. Like I do.

Fuck. Tomintoul 14. No more kid gloves, we’re fucking drinking this right.

07 - Tomintoul 14

Price: Not at the Fucking LCBO

Abv: 46%, fucking right!

Colour: 5Y 8/4

Nose: Lemon, strawberry, orange, rhubarb, burnt pie crust, dusty

Fucking burnt nose is there again. Fucking hell man. Fucking pussy.

I don’t like the fucking orange too much. Butt fuck the shit out of the Rhubarb though. Dust is fucking nasty, like old people farting.

Taste: Buttered popcorn, cashew, fruit punch

Not too complex to this. Like a bra. Cause I’m a man. Fucking A man.

Tastes like going to the movies to see R rated films. Which I do. Cause I’m an adult.

Cashews are tasty. Fucking right.

Finish: Raspberry, nutmeg, peanuts, raisins, cumin

I like raspberry picking.. I mean… FUCKING RIGHT! Peanuts!

Conclusion: This was a lot fucking better than the others. More booze! WOO!

The flavours are more there, and I fucking loved it. Fuck it was good. Fuck.

78/100


08 - Tomintoul 16

So, I guess Whisky is a thing. Seems like something bought by the 1%, drinking as they laugh at us pleebs.

Yeah, I live on a lake, what’s your fucking point?

So anyway, I’m reviewing Tomintoul 16 today, because it’s ironic and shit. Or something. I don’t know.

09 - Tomintoul 16

Price: Nah, it’s not at LCBO, because they don’t want it to be. We should all have it, like in Europe.

Abv: 40%

Colour: 2.5Y 6/6

Nose: Caramel, pear, cherry, raw alcohol, melon, lemon

There’s a little rubbing alcohol here, along with some fruit. People drink this for fun? Fruits there to help us.

I don’t know, I don’t really get it. Maybe add in some coke? Nah, my friend told me that’s not how it’s done, and he’s Scottish.

Taste: Butter, burnt cake, plum, earth, clove

Hmm butter. I’m so glad I can eat so much and not gain a pound.

Tastes a little off… is this why people drink? I don’t really get it. Cloves remind me of that clove extract I drank in science class.

Made $5 though.

Finish: Pear, ginger, Sprite, herbal, cloves, wax

Man, this tastes like wax and cloves, fuck this! Though…

It does taste like Sprite Ice. That stuff is pretty sweet. Not bad…

Conclusion The whole system is corrupt!

Oh, about the whisky. I guess this is why I didn’t do well in English Essay writing.

Yeah, it’s alright. Tastes a little all over the place. Can’t believe people pay for this, when they can be helping out the people.. or something. I don’t know.

I’m going to my room… don’t bug me.

75/100

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #254


10 - Tomintoul 17 1995 Single Cask Masters of Malt

So here I am, top of the world. I mean, I’m SO close to finishing up with High School, and getting out there, you know? Being with people who understand, and are like me, and don’t just want to bury their heads in the sand when something else comes up.

That sounds like it deserves a toast. I may have thought I was a man before, but now I am, by fuck.

Tomintoul 17 1995 Single Cask (Master of Malt) is a perfect example. Aged before it hits 18, right in the sweet spot. I know I don’t have to fake it; I’m not like those adults who never made it past high school. I’m me, and I’m doing great, just like this one.

Natural. Natural Cask Strength. We mix so well together. It’s kismet.

11 - Tomintoul 17 1995 Single Cask Masters of Malt

Price: Nope, it’s only in cool places, like Europe. You ever watch Monty Python? It’s awesome. So much smarter than North American humour.

Abv: 54.5%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/6

Nose: Pineapple cake, ouzo, banana, coffee, lemon pepper

Yeah, pineapple cake and ouzo. I went to Greece and drank, like a man, along the sea. And ate. And had someone laugh at my chest and stuff.

Maybe I should have gone for that one girl on the roof. She looked a little crazy though.

Taste: Pepper, mango, BBQ rub (cloves, cumin, pepper), orange rind, molasses, anise, peanut, bran muffin

But maybe crazy is fun, right? Yeah, I should totally go for her. Fucking right.

Oh, and this is crazy complex. Reminds me of a good Southern BBQ sauce. All over the place, but it works.

Finish: Cocoa, dried papaya, oregano, black licorice, fenugreek, tobacco, coconut

I used a cool word like Fenugreek, which I found in mom’s spice rack. I’m cool.

Conclusion: Yeah, this is a nice drink to have. If I smoked I’d probably like it a little more, but.. well, YOLO, right?

Has a lot to it. Really tasty. Love the extra booze in it.

Perhaps I should try and find the crazy roof girl? Could be fun…

84/100


12 - Tomintoul 21

Yeah, let’s just say… crazy roof girl was a mistake. And I can accept that now. The sex wasn’t even that good.

But I know that now. I’ve been burned a few times, and I’m drinking more than I should. Mostly because class is shite and I live with horrible roommates, and… wait, everything is a letdown now?

At least I can legally buy alcohol in Detroit… so I have that going for me, I guess.

So another rough night, by myself, avoiding roommates. I should try a new dram, Tomintoul 21. And may study.

But probably only review the whisky.

13 - Tomintoul 21

Price: N/A at the LCBO. Don’t know about Detroit. Kinda afraid to go there.

Abv: 40%

Colour: 10YR 5/8

Nose: Peach, mint, lemon, menthol/Vicks, straw, grass

Fruity, a little too mentholated, and some grassy notes. Nothing to “wow” me, kinda like my friends who are out without me,.

Taste: Peach syrup, cumin, anise, brine, dill

Sweet, reminds me of going to Tim Hortons at 1 in the morning when I can’t sleep and getting the peach drink. Which isn’t as good as it used to be.

Has a little bit of a pickle taste in it too.

Maybe I should give roof chick another chance…

Finish: Straw, butterscotch, raw alcohol, dill, peach

More bland let down. Kinda like roof chick. She isn’t replying to FB requests. Says she’s busy or something.

Conclusion: It’s a let down. Quite a let down for a 21 year old. Almost like it needs to change majors (casks) and try for something else. Or maybe it’s just not putting enough effort in.

Whatever. I’m going to Seven Eleven.

65/100

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #255


14 - Tomintoul 1976 Bottled 2007

I don’t get it man. I just don’t get it.

Back in my day, we went through tons of whisky. It was the 80s! And we had some shit. And then it went away.

Well, not me. I was just born around then, but my dad. Yeah, my dad had tons to choose from. And then the bubble hit.

Speaking of a whisky that rode out that bubble, I’ll be reviewing Tomintoul 1976 (2007 bottling) now. 31 years old, chosen from select casks. I want to believe there’s some sherry influence, however I can’t find anything to back that up. At all.

Oh well. I’m a third of the way to dead now, have a wife, and generally don’t have to deal with crazy blondes anymore. Life’s pretty good, save for figuring out this economy. Let’s see how some whisky that got to duck out all the good years fared.

15 - Tomintoul 1976 Bottled 2007

Price: N/A at the LCBO… buggers

Abv: 40%

Colour: 5Y 8/6

Nose: Strawberry, watermelon, sugar candy, vanilla, ginger, plum pie, anise

Very sweet. Lots of different flavours. Nothing too complex, just lots of little flavours. Okay, maybe a plum pie is complex, but come on. COME ON. The rest isn’t.

Taste: Strawberry, cinnamon, lemon sorbet, basil, oak, angel food cake

This is where I think there’s some sherry cask influence. There’s too much strawberry for ex-bourbon alone. Granted 31 years can change a person. Or a Scotch.

Finish: Watermelon candy, lemongrass, cherry, caramel, oak dryness, ginger

More watermelon! More Candy! More Diabetes! Now with dryness!

The finish isn’t that great. Tries to balance, and ends up like those candies you get at the from of a restaurant.

Conclusion: 31 years and this is all we get? Down to 40%? The shit!

Seriously though, the nose is quite good, the taste okay, and the finish is meh. Very meh. Not super meh, just kinda meh. I think there’s better out there to buy. I wish this had been 46%, because I can only imagine how good it would taste at that Abv point.

Oh well. I’m going to go cuddle with my cat.

79/100


16 - Tomintoul 33

Shit, caught up to my age and then passed it. I guess I’ll write this one normal? Or… FROM THE FUTURE (less than 1 month from now).

It’s the year 2015, and all is lost. The robots have attacked. War is upon us. It never changes. However Rolo brought out a new flavour, finally, with extra caramel, so humanity is doing okay.

As I sit here, in the future, with my robotic cat and my hover chair, I sip upon Tomintoul 33. It is the replacement for the 27 year, which may or may not have launched the robot revolution.

Maybe.

So as I stare at our binary stars aboard the world ship Omega-Balls-Deep, in the far solar system with my half-robot wife, I must wonder if this is what the past tasted like.

17 - Tomintoul 33

Price: N/A at the LCBO, ever since the Robots took over and kept things the same.

Abv: 43%

Colour: 7/5YR 5/8

Nose: Strawberry jelly, ginger, plum, cinnamon, pepper, caramel

I remember when Earth was my home. Back when I was young and 32 and 11/12ths. It was truly a magical time.

While this doesn’t smell as pungent or as strong as true plums and cinnamon (which is what alien bugs smell like now), it dose have a nice nose, if weak.

Taste: Raspberry, salt, sand, brown butter, burnt meat

This tastes like the far off land resorts that fly through the Kangaroo system of Persei-Dundee. There’s a lot of earth to it. A tremendous amount.

Not liking it as much as the nose, even with my cyber nose.

Finish: Ginger, lemon, brown sugar, lemon again, funk, dry oak

The finish has some funk to it, which I’m told was a type of music before Earth gave up sound to the Try-laxians.

Conclusion: As much as I’m 99% titanium and have the ability to shoot space cows with my eyes, I still enjoy Scotch. And while I typically love 30+ year whiskies, this one doesn’t hit any happy points for me.

It’s pretty simple, the strength isn’t there, and if I tasted it blind, I would guess it’s a 14 year whisky. Needs something. Anything to help it. Right now, it’s alright, but not worth the money. Maybe a higher Abv, though I’m happy it was at least 43%.

Oh well. I’ll go back to wrangling asteroids.

77/100

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #256


18 - Tomintoul with a Peaty Tang

Here I am. Dirt. Growing. I think. What does peat do again? Do they have Netflix? Seriously, it’s 1000s of years old, right? Gotta have Netflix. What else does it do?

Wait, it’s an accumulations of decayed organic matter? What, should I be 1000s of years old AND be multi brained, all at the same time?

What the shit am I suppose to do? Tomintoul with a Peaty Tang has thrown off this whole bit. All because they wanted to add peat. And make it NAS. And release it in 2007.

And that’s all I really know! Save it’s in ex-bourbon, but since you’re diligent and read everything, you knew that.

Stupid NAS throwing off my joke. Oh well, let’s just see how it tastes.

19 - Tomintoul with a Peaty Tang

Price: N/A

Abv: 40%

Colour: 5Y 9/8

Nose: Cocoa, peat, lemon, pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar

Yup, there’s peat. And it’s young. So the peats still there.

However I like the cocoa mixed with the brown sugar. It becomes more molasses-y as time goes on, kinda like that peat!

Shit. Did too much in the moment shit, can’t make jokes. Like my dick!

See. Crap.

Taste: Chocolate milk, pepper, peat, ginger, fennel

Chocolate-y, creamy, and has some earth and anise to it, though light. It’s definitely a Tomintoul product. Not too strong.

Kinda watery, like skim milk, or lighter. I like the peat, however I’m not as much of a peat head as I used to be, so that’s not enough by itself.

Finish: Basil, smoke, orange, pepper, cream

It ends with more of a herbal and cream note. Really doesn’t jive with the rest. Gone is the cocoa notes, and left are… basil?

I mean, I love basil as much as the next human with a tongue (bionic or not), and… well, it doesn’t really hold up.

Conclusion: If this was an entry malt (which it is, kinda) for the brand, I’d probably be okay with it. If I knew the rest would be peaty and grow and be finished, I think it could really grow into something.

I think other Islays are better, however this is better than anCnoc, so that’s something. And I didn’t mind it too much, even though I’m still somewhat salty about the low Abv across every dram I had.

It’s good. Probably one of the few that match their price point (not that I involve that in my score). So go try a dram.

76/100

Scotch reviews #370-378, Speyside reviews #103-111, Whisky Network reviews #569-577

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