Nose: Aromatic heather roots and charred, musty oak opens onto copper and sherbet lemon effervescence amongst gristly barley sugar.
Palate: Burnt, buttered toast, green apple chunks and vegetal oak with hot white peppercorns. Honey-roasted walnuts linger with a few herbaceous notes underneath.
Finish: Long, warm with spicy cardamom prickling away in the backdrop.
Situated on the banks of the Spey’s main tributary, the Avon (pronounced A’an), and taking its name from Scotland’s highest village nearby, Tomintoul is another 1960s distillery whose make has only recently been more widely seen as single malt.
Starting life as a small site with two stills, the number has since doubled. Its style also appears to have shifted on at least two occasions from the overtly fruity manifestations of its earliest guise to a more cereal-accented make in recent years. A peated variant, bottled as Old Ballantruan, is also now part of the portfolio. Its growing presence in the malt category will hopefully convince more people of its undoubted quality.