Last month, we got the opportunity to take part on the live tasting for the launch of The French Collection by Tomatin. As a fan of Tomatin, we were thrilled!
The French Collection is a four part series, the whisky is distilled in 2008 and has initially matured on traditional casks, before being moved into Monbazillac, Sauternes, Rivesaltes and Cognac casks. The latter hasn’t been released yet, we definitely look forward to this one.
The tasting dove deep into the assets of making wine and maturing whiskies in wine casks. Which is – based off some very good and very bad experiences we’ve had with wine matured whiskies – pretty darn hard. More than with sherry or bourbon casks, the spirit of the whisky and the wine cask have to match very well on order to get a well balanced dram. But Tomatin knew that and they carefully selected and experimented to bring this (for now) trio into existence.
Beforehand, without having tasted them, we thought Sauternes would be our favourite. It’s an open secret that we’re already 50% convinced to buy something if it’s matured on sauternes casks, and the other 50% may very well be filled in when there’s also Tomatin on the label. And yes, it’s a very tasty one. But there was one sample that took the crown, and that’s this Rivesaltes edition.
Pretty herbal, floral and waxy on the nose, with lovely notes of rhubarb, parsnip, soaked yellow raisins and oak shavings.
The palate soft, oily and slightly salty and earthy, with sweet hints of barley, rhubarb and hazelnuts.
Spicy wood, a hint of meat and herbal waves, but there’s also some fresh hints of champagne, lemon pie and vanilla ice cream. There’s a taste of chocolate coated peanuts that remains. Wonderful!
This is classic Tomatin with a huge twist. It’s something we haven’t tasted before, which made this our winner. But if you have the chance, try the other ones out as well, because the wine casks are on point. It’ nice to taste a whisky with the same base conditions that where sent off into different casks. We hope there’s more of them to come!