Booze Review

Whisky Review – Tomatin 12 Year Old French Oak


Tomatin 12 French Oak

G-LO once again called to nag me about getting my homework in on time. Apparently, we received new boozemail which required our prompt attention. This time around, a sample of the Tomatin 12 French Oak came our way.

Four years ago, I reviewed a bottle of the Tomatin 12 (my how the time and whisky has flown by!). That whisky had been matured in Bourbon casks for nearly 12 years and was then finished for six to nine months in Oloroso Sherry casks. Since I really enjoyed that bottle, I was intrigued to try the French Oak. This particular bottling is a whisky that was matured for nine years in bourbon casks and then finished in French Oak casks for three additional years (to be more specific, these French Oak casks were used to age red wine from the Bacalhoa winery). The French Oak casks were de-charred and then re-charred in an effort to bring out a sweet, creamy flavor like what one would find using virgin casks.

Now for our review…

  • Appearance: Pale amber or pale copper (a bit like apple juice).
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: Lightly astringent with lots of floral notes (hyacinth/lavender/perfumish) along with stone fruit and hints of toffee and oak.
    • G-LO: Oodles of baking spices and dried fruit. Clove, brown sugar, vanilla, rum-soaked raisins. Also getting some overripe strawberries.
  • Taste
    • Limpd: A little boozy with lots of liqueur flavors followed by some heat in a bit of sweet, yet hot finish that is very drying. The impact of the red wine really comes through in the finish.
    • G-LO: Starts off lightly sweet with some brown sugar and vanilla. At the middle, it gets very dry and astringent with an intense dried fruitiness taking over. At the finish, some sweetness comes back along with some spice. The aftertaste is quite dry with a lingering brown sugar and cinnamon sweetness.
  • ABV: 46%.

The Verdict

  • Limpd: The French Oak was not quite my cup of tea. I found it to be a little too something (florally? boozy? liqueur?). Not that it was bad, but to me, it was more like a high octane cordial
  • G-LO: Overall, a multi-faceted and delightful dram of whisky. I liked the interplay of the fruit and spice. This was good from start to finish.

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Many thanks to the Tomatin Distillery for sending us this very generous sample! 

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