Tomatin 1977/1998 (56%, Moon Import, Horae Solaris, 820 bottles)
“Le Bonheur, c’est l’heure de boire”. In other words, “Happiness comes
when it’s time to drink”. Not too sure about that, but I remember Moon’s
and Samaroli’s bottlings used to be ‘the’ dream bottles at the time…
Colour: dark gold. Nose: this explains why these were dream bottles.
It’s full of Italian eleganzia, with nothing standing out and just
myriads of complex resinous, fruity and even phenolic notes. Phenols in
Tomatin! So imagine Barbour grease associated with mangos, butter cream
with menthol cigarettes, passion fruits with old books, and lemongrass
with ink and limestone. Yes, that works! With water: nope, water doesn’t
work, it makes it flat and too cardboardy/tea-ish. A bad swimmer, I’m
afraid. Mouth (neat): exceptional. An avalanche of tropical fruits
(passion, mangos, tangerines…) but also very fine notes of aniseed,
dill, chives, ink, sage, coriander… Really superb, with a great oily
mouth feel. With water: this time water works, even if it gets strangely
medicinal. Oils from the wood coming out, such as eucalyptus oil, some
pinesap. The good news is that the fantastico tropical notes have
remained there. Finish: long, zesty, limy. All good, even with water.
Comments: I was ready to go to 90+ until water wrecked the nose. In any
case, a very lovely bottle! SGP:651 - 89 points.