Tomatin 2004 11 Years Old (Usquebaugh Society)
The Usquebaugh Society is the biggest whisky society in The Netherlands. Each year they choose a Society bottling, and do so during a tasting of several cask samples with their members. This year it resulted in a Tomatin 2004 11 Years Old. It spend its first seven years in a refill bourbon cask, after which it was transferred to a first-fill bourbon barrel.
Scott Adamson of Tomatin flew in from Scotland to host the tasting, and he brought four different cask samples. I am a member, but wasn’t able to attend the tasting, so this is actually the first time I get to try it.
Tomatin 2004 11 Years Old (60,0%, OB for Usquebaugh Society, C#35281)
Nose: Interesting combination of sweet and sour. Crême brûlée and sour apple, with some ripe banana puree. Some marzipan and orange liqueur, as well as some oak shavings. Basil too.
Taste: Drying with plenty of oak and ginger. Very spicy, but also vanilla, peach and some lime juice. Water gives the spices a boost, and also brings out an interesting latte macchiato flavour.
Finish: Dry and spicy, medium to long.
I’d say the finishing cask has been too active, making the whisky just a bit too dry and oak-infused. It has more to offer, but this certainly isn’t a whisky for the faint-hearted.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.