Sunday, 10 May 2015

Tomatin Cuatro Oloroso


A Tasty Dram whisky blog

Spanish dessert buffet with Christmas cake

The four whiskies from the Cuatro series come from a spirit batch distilled on the same day, the whisky matured for nine years in American Oak casks before being transferred to four different types of Sherry butts for a period of over three years. As a result each of the four expressions have developed their own unique characteristics. Today I explore the third from the series: Oloroso sherry cask.

Oloroso sherry is a different style from Fino and Manzanilla. The base wine is fortified to at least 18% ABV and thus prevents the yeasts to form the flor layer. The wine is exposed to the air and will oxidise during its time in the cask. The resulting sherry is a dry, slightly stronger and round wine.

How did this Oloroso finished whisky compare to its two paler brothers?

Identity Card Tomatin Cuatro Oloroso

  • Tomatin Cuatro Oloroso sherry cask finish
  • 12 year old single malt
  • 46 % ABV
  • Distilled January 15, 2001, moved to Oloroso sherry cask on June 29, 2011 
  • Bottled on August 20, 2014
  • 9 years maturation in American oak, 3 year finishing in first-fill Oloroso sherry cask | 1500 bottles

Tomatin Cuatro Oloroso
Picture: The Whisky Exchange


Tasting notes

Colour: The use of Oloroso sherry casks is definitely visible. This whisky is considerably darker in colour with a hue of old gold. When swirling the dram, slow and gracious legs form on the glass.

Nose: Sharp yet sweet on the nose with lots of classic sherry influences. Oranges, almonds, vanilla, marzipan and dried fruits. Liquorice root and fruit candy. After a while the dried fruits become more pronounced. A delicious Christmas cake.

Water gives it a touch of rice pudding with cardamon, vanilla, mint and roasted walnuts.

Taste:  The orange flavours develop further on the palate. Seville orange sauce, honey and liquorice. Sweet and juicy pears drizzled with dark and bitter chocolate.

A drop of water brings back the vanilla and cardamon flavoured rice pudding. Sweet maraschino cherries, A hint of mint.

Finish:  The aftertaste is sweet and syrupy. Warm milk with honey, mint and vanilla.

Conclusion

Oloroso matured or finished whiskies are among my personal favourites. It gives a lot of sweet and dried fruit notes without becoming overly sweet (Although I have a sweet tooth for unhealthy things...). Tomatin did a fine job with the Cuatro series and this Oloroso finished Highlands whisky is one of the better from the lot.

The Cuatro Series is an interesting experiment. It may be inspired from the Glenmorangie 12yo series. Tomatin however pushed the idea a little bit further by splitting up one batch of spirit into 4 different whiskies each with a very specific sherry finish. A bottle of the Cuatro series (12 years old, 46% ABV, natural colour and non-chillfiltered) costs approximately €68.

If you still want a bottle, you'd better be quick. These are already a few months available and Tomatin only released 1.500 bottles of every whisky. Oh, and the marketing dept. added a little detail to the bottles to make sure you would want to collect all four of them. Unless you are perfectly fine with a bottle that states "bottle 3/4"... (I know I would want all four of them).


Pictures: Tomatin Distillery

More information on Oloroso sherry: Sherrynotes.com


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