Up until 2000, the Tomintoul distillery produced malt for whisky blends, but under new management they began bottling and selling the 10 year old single malt expression. The range has expanded since then, and there was a peaty version at the store that I might try next time. But I don't expect it to be like the stunning Benriach 21 YO Peated, which was a superhit Speyside endeavour of peat.
Tomintoul 10 YO is pale gold to the eye. Its legs run thin and quick along the glass's inside, revealing a light character that my nose did belie. I smelled hints of fruit, honey, and lots of raisin-like flavour. It got me excited, building up a fruity expectation in my palate.
To the tongue though, the malt's initial sweet notes are replaced by a thin oiliness that sticks along the mouth as the drink rolls down. There's salt and butter in there, and wood as well. But the finish is short, leaving a spicy aftertaste that soon fades away. Add a few drops of water and the drink becomes a little more rounded, but paler. At 40% ABV, the malt is pale even when aired a little. But the distillery knows their product's character, and the packaging acknowledges it as "the gentle dram."