lasted from late-1990 until mid-1998 and is characterised by its small
size white labels). To make it more interesting I do a head-to-head of two 1976 vintage Tomatin: This 13 year old versus a 19 year old https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/23852/tomatin-1976-ca. I bought the 13y for 75 Euro in July, 2004 and the 19y for 80 Euro in June, 2002. I already emptied another bottle of the 19y in July, 2011 that I bought for 70 Euro in September, 2005.Colour: Surprisingly the 13y is maybe one or two shades darker than the 19y, but both are quite pale.
Nose: The 13y nose is sweet on toffee, grassy and herbal notes but quite shy (due to the high abv of 69,4%). Some unpleasant cheesy aromas too that do not go away over time. The nose of the 19y is shy at the beginning but after around 10 minutes it gets very fruity both on exotic as well as homegrown fruits like passion fruit, bananas, pineapples, green apples, redcurrant). Later lots of sweet aromas pop up (vanilla, honey, demara sugar). I really like the 19y, so this round no surprise.
Arrival: The 13y is quite punchy/peppery (no wonder with that alcohol strength) but fat and oily too, mouth-coating. Compared to this the 19y arrives a little lighter - no hotness but not as bold as the 13y either. This round wins the younger one.
Body: Very complex and balanced with the 19y again on fruity and sugary flavours imbedded in a sound wooden structure. Several waves of delicate aromas roll over the tongue all in nice balance. Compared to this the body of the 13y is rather one-dimensional on sweetness, very sweet (and sippable) indeed. Some hints of fruity aromas lurk in the background still waiting to be released after more years of maturation. This round wins the older edition by several points.
Finish: The 13y finish is quite long and very sweet again, some additional spicy flavours (peppers, ginger) pop up. The finish of the 19y is long as well and comes in different layers again. Same delicious profile as on the palate. So this round no surprise either...
With some water the 19y gets smoother and the fruity flavours grow stronger, I like it that way better. The diluted 13y somehow flattens, so some drops are okay to break the hotness but I like it more at a rather higher strength (around 50-55% abv I guess).
Both are easy-to-drink drams with the 19y old being the clear winner due to its adorable complex and balanced fruity/sugary profile. But remember to give it at least 10 to 15 minutes to breathe, before that it is very closed. I do not like the nose of the 13y old, but besides this it is nice if you like very sweet malts. Be cautious with water, some drops will do the job (but more will kill the power of the dram).