Tomatin may have been flying under the radar in recent years.
There was a time though when this Speyside distillery operated 23 stills and was the largest distillery in Scotland. At the time in the mid-seventies, they were one of the few distillers to sell Single Malt Scotch, with most of their product going into world-famous blends such as Chivas Regal and Johnnie Walker. Not a bad accolade for a Scotch producer whose name refers to the methods used in the 1700s to illegally make Whisky. The name translates to ‘Hill of the Juniper Bush’ and before Whisky became a legal product, illegal distillers often used Juniper bushes as fuel to heat the stills. When set alight, Juniper bushes omit little to no smoke and are therefore an ideal way to start a fire without attracting attention.
Today, Tomatin are very much focused on quality over quantity and this expression is the perfect example. Tomatin’s Cuatro series are four different expressions of their 12-year-old Malt finished in different types of Sherry cask. The others are Fino, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez if you’re interested. With only 1,500 bottles released of this Manzanilla expression on the market, it’s safe to say this is a tough Scotch to get your hands on. But you don’t take us for amateurs do you? This one is set to go quickly so don’t hang about.