Tomatin Whisky - the Perfect Gift for Fathers Day

If you still haven't got your Fathers Day gift sorted Tomatin whisky might be a good choice for him. Last week I went on a Tomatin whisky tasting especially for BYOD, BYOD standing for 'bring your own Dad' - just for Fathers Day.

Now if you read this blog regularly you'll probably know I'm not from Scotland. As a consequence my Dad doesn't live locally so taking him along wasn't really an option for me. However not one to be beaten I took someone who, whilst not my Dad, is a Dad and also enjoys the odd dram of whisky so seemed an excellent substitute for the evening.

On the evening of the tasting we went to Usquabae, my first visit to this basement whisky bar. The atmosphere was welcoming and cosy. The perfect spot to escape for a whisky or two if you're in the city, even if your Dad isn't with you. Our hosts for the evening were father and daughter, Graham and Kirstie who both work at the Tomatin distillery. It seems working at this distillery is very much a family thing with Graham's son also employed there and several other families working there too. Both Graham and Kirstie were exceptionally hospitable and knowledgeable and made the tasting fun as well as informative. We got to try four of the Tomatin distillery whiskies that evening, the Tomatin Legacy, a 12 year old, an 18 year old and were honoured to try their 36 year old!

First up the Tomatin Legacy, which although I'm not the most seasoned whisky drinker seemed quite light and relatively easy to drink on a day to day basis. We were told we may pick up on aromas of vanilla with a sweetness to the whisky which was definitely evident. The Legacy spends its time in Bourbon barrels and Virgin Oak casks which helps to develop these. The flavours that came through too of apples and even sponge cake certainly helped me to enjoy it. Our hosts encouraged us to try the whisky as is first and then, if we wanted to, to add a drop or two of water to bring out a different nuance to the flavours. This tends to be my preferred way of having a whisky mainly because to me it seems to make the whisky a little smoother but I'm always happy to try it without too.

As I often find when I sample older whiskies after a younger one they are noticeably smoother (even without the addition of water) and our second, the 12 year old, met with this expectation for me. I think nearly everyone on our tasting preferred this one to the first despite that being very popular with everyone too. The 12 year old is matured in traditional Scotch whisky, ex-Bourbon and ex-Spanish Sherry casks. Again the sweet fruit flavours of apple as well as pear were evident but with a subtle silky finish. But then I tried the 18 year old and totally changed my mind again.

This one was silky and tasted almost chocolatey. In fact this was the whisky that our host Graham told us convinced him to take a job at the Tomatin distillery and it wasn't difficult to appreciate that this one was pretty special to him or to understand why. It slipped down so easily I was blown away, in fact I'd go as far as to say it was a bit of an epiphany for me in terms of really appreciating whisky. After trying this one for the first time I felt like I'd found a whisky I could confidently go into a bar and order knowing it was that drinkable. It's won numerous prizes and it really isn't difficult to understand why. To achieve that silkiness it is matured in traditional oak casks and first fill Oloroso Sherry butts. Following on from the 18 year old it was then a privilege to sample their 36 year old which was incredibly good and at £600 a bottle would make an incredible Fathers Day gift. It too is matured in traditional oak and Oloroso Sherry casks giving it a smooth and creamy finish. For me personally though the 18 year old had it all and easily came out as my favourite of the night.

Whatever your budget though I'm sure Tomatin have a whisky that's perfect for your Dad and his tastes to spoil him this Fathers Day.

This blog post resulted from an invitation. Thank you to Tomatin Whisky and Usquabae for the lovely evening.


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