The Tomintoul 10 year 2006 from The Exclusive Casks opens my nose in a bakery dedicated to wedding cakes made mostly from French macarons. Frosting aplenty, and walking in is essentially an invitation to a delightful salesclerk charmingly shoving a free sample up each nostril. Taken aback, yet happy, too, I pick up a touch of bready marshmallows, more cake, and wedding biscuits (not chocolate) for the dogs in attendance. I’m invited to doff my shirt, and I reluctantly accede; the staff slathers my torso in macaron crumbs and more frosting. More frosting! And cake! It’s safe to say this is unlike every other Tomintoul I’ve ever drunk.
The mouth is lemon mousse clouds during a tangerine sunset. (Wasn’t that an Elton John song? Don’t Let the Tangerine Go Down on Me? Fellas? Guys? Actually, a tangerine going down on me sounds…interesting.) Fruited macarons appear—but no bearclaws, nor schnecken, nor stollen. By that I mean, a bakery visit usually entails some sort of caramelly goodness, but this one stays on the attar of marigolds imbued into sugar cookies and pound cake. Rounded aromatics simmer in the background. Molasses drips down a summer windowpane and largo-like segues to rubbing alcohol and sarsparilla root.
The finish is long and bright. Sweet and light. Hot, like diesel fuel burning in model airplanes milled from thin sheets of aluminum by my enterprising neighbor. It lingers, like linens left long on a line. The high note continues to waft, almost plaintively, because this macaron wedding cake was only had, but never eaten.
On the scale of useful statistics terminology lifted into a book title–
The Tomintoul 10 Year 2006 is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell–More than three standard deviations from the mean says this dram is an outlier; not like anything to be expected. Unusual, further up the scale, an island unto itself; indeed, up a new scale that only the data cloud could predict ex post facto. Oh, and while the book was a huge bestseller, the whisky can’t be, because it’s Only. One. Single. Cask.
–Our thanks to the Exclusive Malts and ImpEx for the sample!