Contrast is a 2 pack that Tomatin released in the last half of this year. It is comprised of a 350ml Bourbon cask matured whisky, and a 350ml Sherry cask matured whisky. Both cask expressions are drawn from a handful of vintages: 1973, 1977, 1988, 1991, 2002, and 2006. A bold move on Tomatin’s part, to play with such a range of whiskies that vary in age, and market value so much. That said, it’s not a large experiment – only 5400 of the packs are available worldwide, and each bottle is numbered. The whiskies are bottled at 46% abv, and are non-chill filtered, and natural colour.
This is a review of the Bourbon cask matured bottling.
Light gold. After rolling the spirit around in the glass, thick, shallow legs slowly form and sluggishly creep down the sides.
Lighter aromas of squeezed lemon and pungent flowers dance on top of a big, buttery caramel and bubblegum backbone. A garden in summer. Fresh grass clippings and a glass of tart lemonade. A little hint of curaçao and pickled hot peppers. Nonetheless, light and delicate.
A triad of pure malted barley, juicy vanilla, and American oak, in that order. Waved off by a ripple of raw honey.
Full of wonderful contradictions. The whisky is light bodied and approachable, but at the same time, has profound, very refined undercurrents.
Bitter chocolate covered espresso beans echo for the better part of a minute. Tremendous.
The Bourbon cask bottling in Tomatin’s Contrast pack is a real treat. The younger malts in the vatting are likely taking centre stage, with their brash malty power, and the older whiskies lay down a solid foundation, really knitting the whole thing together into something complex, yet cohesive. All told, there is actually no sensory aspect of this whisky that I dislike. In every category of assessment, the whisky is so multifaceted, it remains a real joy to either analyse, or simply revel in.
What do you think? Leave a comment below. Feel free to give your opinion and correct me on any facts I’ve bungled. Cheers.