On Thursday night (the 9th March) I was invited to the launch of Tomatin’s Five Virtues, a collection created in collaboration with artist Eva Ullrich. As someone who has never been a huge fan of whisky, I have to admit I was initially quite skeptical about attending the launch. I didn’t doubt that Frank, the PR team in charge, would put on a brilliant event but I was concerned I wouldn’t know enough about whisky to appreciate the collection being launched.
In an effort to appear slightly more informed, I brought my husband to the event. Not that he complained. But I have to honestly say, I was incredibly impressed by the collection and may have genuinely been converted to whisky drinking. Chris loved each and every one of the whiskies on offer and is already preparing to buy them all (they are limited edition).
Five Virtues is a concept that comes from the processes and materials employed by the Tomatin distillery, and the whiskies are all appropriately named – Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water.
Wood and Fire are the first ‘expressions’ being released. Wood was developed using carefully selected French, American and Hungarian oak casks during maturation and has flavours of orange peel, vanilla, brown sugar and oaky spice.
Fire (both mine and Chris’s favourite out of the whole collection) was matured in ‘heavily charred oak casks. These casks were fired in previous use, but were stripped and re-fired to mature the whisky. This results in a creamy finish with citrus and a spicy finish. Tomatin themselves describe Fire as tasting like an apple pie with a dusting of cinnamon, which I completely agree with. Who knew I’d ever be describing the flavour of a whisky?
Earth and Metal will be the next to be released, in September of this year I believe. Earth has rich and intense peaty flavours as a result of maturing in peatdried malted barley casks. You can instantly smell the smokiness from this whisky, almost like coal. Chris described it as having a salty scent to it as well (which I didn’t detect. Whisky novice fail). Metal is expressed by the distillery’s 12 beautiful copper stills.
Water, the final whisky to be released in this collection (I believe this will be released early next year) and was Chris’s favourite until he tasted Fire. Water is distinguished by its naturally pure soft water from the Alt-na-Frith burn, which is drawn year round but employs a winterdistilled spirit to enrich the final flavour.
Overall I am really impressed by this collection, especially being a whisky novice. I’m sure Chris will be racing to collection all of the whiskies before they sell out!
The event itself was also brilliant. Eva’s artwork was on display by each of the whiskies in the collection, there was a VR distillery tour and several delicious whisky cocktails consumed!
Are you into whisky? Are you tempted to try the Tomatin Five Virtues collection?