Milroys of Soho “Thom talking Tomatin” – Scotch Whisky News

Tomatin Reviewed by our own Thom Smyth


Those of you who don’t know Thom, he is a regular fixture tending the whisky bar at Milroys Spitalfields. He is known for his wisecracking scene of humour and depth of random whisky quips and facts.  Here he has shared some of his whisky adventures with us.

What was your first experience of whisky?

I was about 18, me and my mates met outside our local pub The Prince of Wales. No longer having to rely on fake IDs to escape the scowl of the landlady Sandra. I remember thinking having something a little more sophisticated would draw attention away from the bum fluff on my chin and my Fall Out Boy haircut.  I ordered a Laphroaig 10 Year Old without really knowing too much about it. I was taken back by the stench of the peat and how ‘strong’ it tasted, I spluttered as Sandra glared across the bar. The second sip I felt the full power and experience of the whisky and seemed to enjoy the punishment. From there on I always tended to drink the peatier whiskies.

What are your top three desert island whiskies?

Caol Ila 2016 Distillers Edition, finish in Muscatel Casks. This is one of the most well rounded whiskies, the muscatel cask cuts through the creamy almondy nature of Caol ila signature style.

Tomatin 12 Year Old (2006) Amontillado Sherry Cask Finish. Tomatin is a big powerful base spirit, bringing the amontillado finish to this base spirit brings a nutty savory note which works fantastically.

Redbreast 15 Year Old Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Pound for pound the best everyday whiskey out there.

What is your funniest whisky story?

I got invited to spend Christmas with a friend’s family whilst living in Canada. Spending the day with them I was indoctrinated into a proper Canadian Christmas mainly drinking whisky, driving snowmobiles, eating pierogis and listening to Christmas songs, it was great! A cousin of my friend decided he wanted to go dram-for-dram with me. This is a mistake on his part as he ended up falling asleep in his Christmas dinner and his dad and myself having to carry him to bed whilst his Grandfather called him a little b**** while taking a big swig of her Canadian Club and Coke. I preceded to slow down my drinking but still finished the night off with Grandpa George.

Why is Tomatin one of your favorite distillers?

What makes Tomatin one of my favourite whiskies is it’s diverse range. Their use of different varying casks, such as Caribbean rum casks, Amontillado sherry and Oloroso sherry casks add so much to an already powerful, soft, delicious whisky which makes me go back to Tomatin for something different every time.

Tomatin Distillery

Tomatin was established in 1897, even though they had been producing liquid and selling to cattle drivers since the 16th century, under the name of Tomatin Spey Distillery Company. Owned since 1986 by Japanese company Takara Shuzo, they took ’Spey’ out of the name of the distillery as it is actually a highland whisky.

Producing between 2.5 and 5 million litres of liquid per year, Tomatin has a core range of a 12 year old, 14 year old. 18 year old, 25 year old and a 36 year old as well as Non Age Statement (NAS) labels. Within their production, they also have the Cu Bocan lineup which is a NAS and lightly peated as well as their own blends the Antiquary and the Talisman.

Tomatin Decades II NAS – 46%

A marriage of 21 casks ranging from Scotch Whisky, ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry, and recharred French Oak from the last 50 years.

Nose – Citrus and floral with a fruity, coconut punch. Some dried fruit and light spice.

Palate – An initial burst of red berry fruits and Christmas cake with a length of ginger spice and orange peel.

Finish – Long waxy finish with chocolate and tropical fruit lingering.

Order for £145

Tomatin 21YO The Boutique-y Whisky Company Batch 3 – 47.4%

Nose – Blueberries and barley. Breakfast notes.

Palate – Slightly earthy with a bitter orange citrus burst. Honey texture with a pinch of a dry cinnamon spice.

Finish – Finishes very oaky with a sweet chocolate undertone.  

Order for £125

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