Tasting Notes for Tomatin 2009 - 12 Years Old - Gordon & MacPhail
Nose: Smooth and sweet, intense honey aromas followed by fragrant pear and spring blossom.
Palate: Melon and peach flavours lead to vanilla custard.
Finish: A hint of oak and a herbal edge.
Bottled as part of Gordon & MacPhail's Discovery range, this Tomatin whisky was distilled in 2009, and has been aged entirely in first-fill ex-bourbon casks. A single malt in the classic Highland style, matched with Gordon & MacPhail’s world-renowned expertise in cask maturation, means that you can expect this to be a high quality dram. Discovery is a perfect introduction to independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail’s impressive colletion. Each edition has a flavour profile that matches those of great Scottish Single Malts: Sherry, Bourbon and Peated. Something to please all kinds of connoisseurs.
Although it is thought that whisky has been distilled on the site of the Tomatin distillery since the 16th century, when cattle drivers would buy from a local still, the distillery was not established until 1897, under the name of Tomatin Spey Distillery Co Ltd. The distillery operated with only two stills until 1958. Starting at that time, they began to add stills to increase production capacity, eventually reaching production of 12.5 million litres of whisky per year during the 1970s, and in 1987 Tomatin was referred to as the largest malt distillery in Scotland. Multiple stills have since been dismantled and in 2007, they were only producing 2.5 million litres.
Around eighty percent of Tomatin's whisky goes into blended whisky, including its own brands of Antiquary and Talisman, but the distillery has been making an effort to bolster its name as a producer of single malts, expanding its core range and producing limited releases. The distillery has also begun to produce a lightly peated single malt called Cu Bocan which is produced 1 week a year at the distillery.
Gordon & MacPhail are one of the oldest and most important bottlers of single malt whisky in Scotland - and indeed the world. They were founded in 1895 by James Gordon and John Alexander MacPhail and as did many whisky traders, Gordon and MacPhail sold other products in addition to whisky from their premises on South Street, Elgin; they were a grocers as well as a wine and spirits merchant. However, there was always an inclination toward dark spirits, and they decreed their product would be ‘a superior article at a popular price’. They quickly began the pioneering practice of bottling various distillery’s whiskies under license and selling them through their shop and wholesale.
They were the first to offer higher strength (100 proof) bottlings on a regular basis as far back as the 1950s and one of the first companies to set up a proper, independent bottling range in the form of the Connoisseur’s Choice series which was launched in 1968.
Today, Gordon & MacPhail stands out, not for its age (though it is the oldest independent bottler in Scotland), but for its complete mastery of cask ageing. Gordon & MacPhail is the only bottler to have its own casks – carefully chosen for the purpose – filled by the distilleries themselves, instead of simply buying the ones suggested to them by the latter. This allows it to determine, in advance and with great precision, exactly how many years a whisky will need to reach ideal maturation.
They have bottled the four oldest whiskies ever released, including the 1939 75-year-old Mortlach as part of their ongoing ‘Generations’ series, and a 71-year-old Macallan under the Speymalt range. They have also recently announced an 80 year old Glenlivet, which will be a new record for the World’s oldest released whisky.
Gordon & MacPhail have provided the stock for a number of importers and bottlers overseas over the past few decades and have probably been responsible for a higher proportion of what is now considered the great and legendary whiskies over the years than any other company. Today they still hold and release stock of unparalleled age and quality.
Producer Tomatin Distillery for Gordon & MacPhail Style Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky Age 12 Years Volume 70CL ABV 43%