The International Wine and Spirits Competition is among the biggest—and oldest—annual awards show in the alcohol industry. In late March, the 53-year-old confab announced its 2022 results, consisting of more than 4,000 liquor entries from across more than 90 different countries. Liquids are judged by a 100-point system, although no expression received higher than 99 points this time around. In fact, only 14 total labels across all categories of spirit earned that enviable distinction—five of their whiskies.
And would you believe that one specific scotch distillery actually recorded two separate 99-point entries? You’d have to believe it, because it’s true. That distillery: Tomatin. Although they haven’t received a ton of recognition stateside, this Highland workhorse has been proudly producing world-class malt since 1897. Traditionally, most of that malt has gone into blends of varying repute. But a modern marketing push has helped buoy their reputation as a single malt worth watching.
After this year’s IWSC results, any self-styled connoisseur would be wise to open their eyes wide. Their first 99-pointer was the Tomatin Legacy, an 86-proof non-age-statement liquid that graciously only retails for around $40 a bottle. The judging panel offered the following tasting notes for the expression:
Ripe honeyed lemons and sweet vanilla fudge characterise the nose, while a pleasant fresh grapefruit flavour comes through wonderfully on the palate creating a superb lift. Fragrant and complex, with a harmonious, lingering finish.”