Tomintoul – The Gentle Dram
Founded in 1964 by Tomintoul Distillery LTD, the distillery is a large producer of whisky for both the single malt market and the Blended whisky industry. The whisky is produced in quantity, without compromising quality. There is the capacity to produce 3.3 million litres of pure Alcohol each year for which most may go into blends and foreign markets, luckily we still get to see some here in the UK.
The distillery is producing somewhere in the region of 73,000 litres of whisky a week, which takes around 175 tons of barley to achieve this. The Porteus mill is producing grist at a rate of 11.6 tons every 10 hours, this all goes into a 70,000 litres stainless steel mash tun. There are 6 stainless steel wash backs in use which then incorporates a 60 hour fermentation time.
There are 4 stills, 2 wash stills and 2 spirit stills but all 4 are actually the same size, these are under the watch of Stuart, who has worked at the distillery for 11 years and has had control of the stills for around a year..
The distillery produces malt for just about every market you can name, with blends and single malt alike going into these markets..
Cigar Malt – Tomintoul
Casks.. Ex Bourbon, Sherry Butts
Nose.. Dates, raisins and raisins all in a bowl soaking in natural sugary juices, add some chocolate, candied oranges, plum jam, waffles smothered in maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.. All this is then wrapped in a subtle jacket of smoke and dried tobacco leaf aromas.
Palate.. The smoke gently mixes with spices at first before allowing dark chocolate, peanut brittle, dates, blackberry jam, sticky toffee pudding and a hint of manuka honey.. After allowing the dram to breathe a little more the palate mellows slightly and becomes more about the chocolate and smoke which actually becomes very enjoyable..
Finish.. Chocolate and spice
Thoughts.. I think the first thing most of us thought when hearing about this new release was Hmmm what about the other Cigar malt from Dalmore ?
Well it seems they seem to both have a Cigar malt within the portfolio, this story will be an interesting one to follow..
Having been matured or finished within sherry casks from the partner bodegas in Andalucia, Spain, this malt also carries a second name of Tomintoul Cigar Malt Parejo, which translates from Spanish into “partner” ..
So the whisky, is it still the gentle dram ?.. Well as a non smoker i wont go into the combining this with a cigar as the name might suggest is the thing to do but rather stay true to how it works as a single malt. The smoke comes from a small amount of peated malt which has been combined in order to help it work with the cigars i expect, add to this the darkness of the sherry flavours and this could very easily stand alone. There is no need to add the “gimmick” of cigars and in a world where smoking is being looked down upon i do wonder why a company needs or wants to be associated with this ???
For me the association with cigars takes us back to the Gentleman’s clubs, the leather armchairs, old dusty books and Gentlemen only clubs..
Maybe i am overthinking this, after all women do smoke cigars and drink whisky and maybe this is a way of combining this in our new world of drinkers (i hope so) This could be a good marketing tool for Tomintoul, but i digress..
The whisky is enjoyable, it is easy to drink and it will be a conversation piece around the table.. This would also be on another level had it come out at 46% but i will give the guys a nod of appreciation for at least giving us 43%.. Damn i sound grumpy today..