Manchester Whisky Club Review – February

mcr whisky club

February has been and gone, and so has the second meeting of the inaugural Manchester Whisky Club. You did read that right by the way. It comes as rather a surprise to find out that Manchester is lacking a whisky club. For a city that hosts a yearly Whisky Festival with a packed crowd, there’s no shortage of interest of the subject, but to cater for those who want to meet up regularly for a chat with like-minded fans a club had to be formed.

And a gentleman named Andy has done just that.

Held at the Lass O’Gowrie, the second meeting had a single brand showcased instead of five from the first meet. We checked out the Highland distillery of Tomatin, a new experience even for myself, and eagerly anticipated.

But before we come onto the four expressions, a little need-to-know on Tomatin itself.

Tomatin dates itself back to 1897 where it established itself on the eastern edge of the Monadliath Mountains south of Inverness. With this positioning, it is one of the highest distilleries at 315m above sea level. Starting under the name of Tomatin Spey Distillery Co Ltd, the company went bankrupt in 1906, and reopened under new ownership in 1909. After the liquidation of its owners in 1986, it was taken over by Japanese conglomerate Takara Shuzo and was renamed Tomatin Distillery Co Ltd.

At Tomatin, the Alt-na Frith (Free Burn), which springs up deep within the Monadhliath Mountains, supplies the water with what to create there brand. Traditionally, the whisky has been used to provide fillings for the major blended whiskies in Scotland, but the emphasis now is very much on the companies own brands, with the core range sampled below –

tomatin 30yrTomatin 12yr – 40%

Married exclusively in Spanish sherry butts prior to bottling. Light yet lively on the nose with hints of spice and dry fruit coming through. Slight sharpness on the palate at the beginning but produces a warmth that lingers. A dry end.

Tomatin 15yr – 43%

Matured in ex American oak barrels. Heavy wood aroma on the nose, lively with a flesh fruit scent with sweetness following that continues onto the palate. Raisin flavours with honey mix well. Long finish but a little dry.

Tomatin 18yr – 46%

Married in Oloroso sherry butts prior to bottling. Light yet punchy on the nose but ends a little dry. Quite sharp on the palate but mellows quickly and creates a warmth. Hints of dark chocolate that lingers.

Tomatin 30yr – 46%

Matured in ex bourbon and sherry casks. Very light on the nose with a slight wood aroma and hints of green apple. Soft on the palate with a nut and ginger flavour coming through on the long finish. Rather a rich end.

A rather delightful mix between the four. Personally, as an all-rounder, the 15yr hit the spot, but the 18yr had a fantastic palate which i could quite easily enjoy over and over again. 

Join Manchester Whisky Club here or follow them on Twitter at @MCRWhiskyClub and Facebook.

Check out the rest of the photos of the first meet via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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