Tomatin 1965 cask #20942 (Duncan Taylor)

Tomatin 1965 cask #20942 (Duncan Taylor)

When I became interested in single malts (early 2000s), the Rare Auld bottlings from Duncan Taylor were a golden standard. You could get 1960s and 1970s whisky à volonté and almost every cask from this series was a sure bet. They’re the ones that gave Caperdonich 1972 its legendary status, but they also had glorious Glenrothes, Glen Grant or Tomatin.

We’re travelling back to that time with a Tomatin 1965, released in 2008.


Tomatin 42 yo 1965 (52,1%, Duncan Taylor 2008, cask #20942, 211 btl.)

Nose: very fruity. Plenty of peaches and apricots, as well as melons and quinces. Also orange peels and hints of Earl Grey. Candied ginger and honey. Then a gentle oakiness (drops of bourbon whiskey), with soft vanilla and whiffs of leather. Funny how this now reminds me of old cognac.

Mouth: a bit more oak now, but nicely countered by a basket of orchard fruits. Yellow apples, peaches, quinces, maybe hints of bananas as well now. Then mint and eucalyptus, with a growing gingery side. The oak is noticeable but it remains highly drinkable.

Finish: long, on honeyed fruits, mint and balanced oak.

While the palate can’t match the fruity exuberance of the nose, this Tomatin is not too old and very easy to drink. I remember the time when this was fairly easy to find, and regularly opened and enjoyed… Long gone, even in auctions.