Tomatin – 1988 Vintage

Tomatin’s Latest Vintage Offering

Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky have always offered a wide range of expressions with different flavour profiles, there is usually something for everyone and along with the release of the new 14yo Port Wood Finish along comes this 1988 Vintage release, both of these expression will join the core range.

What Tomatin say:

Along with our new 14 Year Old Port Wood Finish, we are delighted to announce the addition of a 1988 Vintage expression to our core range.  This expression will be released in batches.  The contents have been vatted from a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Port casks.


Strawberry jam, honey glazed ham, Cantaloupe melon, freshly squeezed orange juice.


Sweet with buttery notes; candy floss, Victoria sponge.  Red fruits, eucalyptus, mint, coconut.  Fading smoke.


Fresh with lots of depth.

This is bottled at 46% ABV and available here at £160.00 per 70cl bottle.

What we say

Tomatin 1988
Tomatin 1988

We are big fans of the Tomatin range here at Whisky Corner, Legacy is a fantastic, excellent value for money, session dram.  The 25yo has so much complexity, and we enjoyed the new 14yo read the review here.  This 1988 Vintage is at least 25 years old, and we can’t wait to get stuck in, so here we go.



Straight away those sweet notes hit you, yes there’s candy floss, but for me there’s more of a burnt edge to the sugar, with a touch of soft apple, like toffee apple from the circus and sweet popcorn.  There’s some stewed berries in there, not just wild fragrant strawberries, but blackberries from the side of the railways and rich oranges and cloves, all melted down into hot sticky jam.  There is an underlying fresh edge, soft ferns, and a touch of violets and bluebells, before a big mint hint comes to the fore.


Sweetness as expected, but a definite meaty hit to this too, soft Parma ham, wrapped around fresh dates, salted pancetta tossed with fresh melon, mint and (just popped from the pod) fresh peas.  A buttery smoothness comes through like uncooked sponge mixture and fresh butter icing, melting on the tongue.  Sultanas and star anise, with that fresh tingling of mint running all the while in the background.  Creamy polenta carries with it the lovely sticky jam notes from the nose and there is a large oak hit on the roof of the mouth.  The floral is all but lost but this does pave the way for the herbs with thyme, rosemary and a touch of fresh basil all making themselves known, before, along with the oak they simmer down and let the orange and honey back in.


The sweetness from the dram is fairly fleeting, but the savoury notes and in particular the tannins and soft leather linger on and on.

Overall Thoughts

A complex dram, never over powering and at times unassuming, but the ever changing sweet to savoury notes leave you guessing at every turn.  The Port certainly has an influence but not as much as you may expect.  Not much heat to be found and is easy drinking, almost too easy drinking.  Would I drink this again? Yes, yes I would and if you are thinking of spending a little bit extra to get a decent vintage, you could do a lot worse than to spend that money on this.  If this whisky was a person it would definitely be a bit of a people pleaser!



The first thing that hits me is a fresh breeze of lemon and warm orange marmalade.  Boiled sweets and honeyed leather mixing with a warm sense of mint.


Hot orange toddy with hints of dried pine, slight spice jumping on the tongue before a powerful hit of mint engulfs your mouth.


Very drying, almost evaporating before you have the chance to swallow.   Quite cooling, not feisty or obscenely hot.

Overall Thoughts

A particularly pleasant dram with hints of a crisp Spring morning, lovely dry finish which leaves you wanting more.

A massive thank you to Jennifer from Tomatin for our official sample for review.

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