New-school: built in 1965 to produce whisky for blending, like many during that era, Tomintoul lies within the Glenlivet estate in the Speyside region. Sometimes seen under its older ‘Tomintoul-Glenlivet’ guise, like a handful of nearby ‘piggy-backers’ it adopted the popular ‘Glenlivet’ name, then later reverted. Its character is entirely different to The Glenlivet.
A distillery that labels itself as a ‘gentle dram’, Tomintoul arguable makes an authentic claim. Typically you can expect a soft delivery from all that they bottle, most likely to create whisky that is very approachable, we have to guess. If you think what is required to describe a whisky as ‘smooth’ then you’re probably not too far away from the delivery of Tomintoul.
In saying that, straight from the cask Tomintoul has a definite bite about it, displaying all of the barley sugar and raisin characteristics that contribute to its gentle perception, yet also showing a thick, waxy quality that adds a layer of oomph.
Be careful of the heavily-peated variant sometimes produced at the distillery – Ballantruan – for it is far from gentle.