A limited edition released in 2011 the Tomatin Decades was created by Douglas Campbell to celebrate his 50th year at the distillery and contains casks from each of the decades he worked at the distillery: 1967 – Refill Sherry Hogshead, 1976 – Oloroso Sherry Butts, 1984 – Refill Sherry Hogsheads, 1990 – First Fill Bourbon Barrels, 2005 First Fill Bourbon Barrels.
In Tomatin’s Words: Tomatin Decades
“In recognition of his 50 years service at Tomatin, Douglas created a Single Malt using whiskies distilled in each of the 5 decades he worked at the distillery. Starting with a 1967 cask and moving through each of the subsequent decades to the year 2005, Douglas chose whiskies that not only have very distinctive individual characteristics but are also versatile enough to marry together to create a single malt that is a genuine one off.”
We don’t know the proportions of everything but we can assume the younger casks make up the majority of the spirit as they would have more of it on-hand than the older stuff. The youngest casks were between 5-6 years old (distilled 12-7-05) and the oldest about 44 years. The purpose of this was “to create a single malt that has great depth of flavour but also a youthful charm that helps to invigorate the taste buds”. Sounds possible, but we won’t know till we dig in and find out in the Tomatin Decades review below.
Tomatin Decades Info
Region: Highlands, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry
Age: NAS (5-years old)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller
Tomatin Decades Review
Sherry, honey, grassy malt, tropical and orchard fruit, toffee, berry jelly, buttery graham and light spice and dried apricot.
Farmy malt, sherry, dried apricot, dried apples, caramel, spice and light vanilla, banana pudding and cocoa.
Medium malty fade with bits of spice, cocoa and dried fruit.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good sense of balance, round body and a light syrupy feel.
Tomatin Decades is good stuff and if it was still around for the $80ish it was available for in 2011 I’d buy it just for the amazing aroma. The palate isn’t quite as robust, but it’s still pleasant and enticing. There’s a lot to enjoy about this whisky, it’s easy to see why people talked so highly about it.
Though the one thing I wish they’d done, with the Tomatin Decades, add less water – so actually it’s something I wish they hadn’t done. Containing whisky from the 60s, 70s and 80s in the mix it feels like a massive disservice to water it down too much. My humble opinion is that something like this should have been delivered at 50% at the very least, or more ideally at full cask strength. This is a good whisky, but it always saddens my heart a bit to see ancient whisky watered down.
SCORE: 88/100 (B+)