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Tasting Notes: Sampling the New Tomatin 45 Year Old Whisky

The whisky was aged in a Spanish Oloroso sherry cask for its full 45 years.

By Alex Martin

Tomatin has taken another dip in the waters of fine and rare whisky with the launch of its oldest-ever travel retail exclusive, a 45 Year Old limited to just 250 bottles and priced at £7,500 (approx $9,500).

Released in March, the ultra-aged expression is only available in select airports and luxury travel retail outlets, making it fiendishly tricky to get a hold of. That will have alerted collectors, with Batch 1 of the new expression likely to have good investment value should it prove popular.

And it certainly ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to collectibility. For starters, the whisky was aged in a Spanish Oloroso sherry cask for its full 45 years, giving it a deep mahogany hue that immediately catches the eye.

[See also: Tasting Notes: The Rediscovered Shirakawa 1958 Japanese Whisky]

A Tomatin whisky in its display box
The Tomatin 45 Year Old comes in a bespoke wooden box / ©Tomatin

It’s also very well packaged. Each decanter is beautifully designed and, importantly, individually numbered from one to 250. They were custom-made by crystal experts, Glencairn, with a well-matched golden stopper, and placed in a lovely high-gloss wooden box.

The dark brown of the box and the gold detail make reference to the distillery’s Highland landscape, and the etchings on the wooden box represent the rolling hills that surround the distillery, just outside of Inverness.

It all works, no doubt. But let’s not forget what really matters: the whisky itself.

Tomatin 45 Year Old tasting notes

Bottled at 41.5% ABV, this whisky was approaching the very limits of its aging potential when it was bottled. Once it drops below 40%, it can no longer be called Scotch whisky, so master distiller Graham Eunson would have had a very close eye on this whisky to ensure it stayed the right side of the line.

Let that take nothing away from the whisky though. Some whiskies work best when given maximum time to age, particularly in the right casks. It was bottled at cask strength, retains its natural color and is non-chill filtered, so what you buy is, save a few impurities, exactly what came out of the cask.

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Naturally, the whisky has absorbed a lot of flavor from the Oloroso sherry cask. You get the typical mix of dried tropical fruits and orange bitters. There is a drying effect that usually comes from Spanish oak, which at this age presents itself as smooth dark chocolate and garden herbs.

It’s nice, approachable and would satisfy the few who are buying this to drink.

Tomatin 45 Year Old is available at airports and luxury global travel retail outlets for an SRP of £7,500 (approx $9,500). For more information, visit tomatin.com

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