June 19, 2016
This week's review focuses on a distillery which is starting to receive a fair bit of attention from connoisseurs and collectors alike. Tobermory distillery may not be the biggest or produce the best whisky, but there is no denying that their whiskies are rather exceptional.
Having been founded in 1798 (and therefore belonging to a special group of distilleries which were founded in the 18th century and are still operational today) on the Isle of Mull, the distillery has been interchangeably known as either Tobermory or Ledaig throughout the years.
Interestingly enough, both names apply (although Tobermory is the accepted title these days) as the distillery produces both an unpeated (Tobermory) and a peated (Ledaig) style of whisky, both of which are unique in their own way.
Today's review focuses on the Tobermory 19, which was distilled in October 1995 by the distillery and laid down in a first-fill sherry butt for 19 long years before being decanted and bottled by independent bottlers Dun Bheagan at a standard abv of 46%.
So, let's get on with the review!
Tobermory 1995 19 Years Old (46% abv)
Colour: Rose gold
Nose: Initial entry presents a big whack of sea salt coupled by a rather robust alcohol presence. The alcohol note does subside with time and allows the other nuances to filter through. A rich sherried sweetness coupled with a rather pronounced vegetal note (which is unusual, but not offensive) that one would associate with the seashore emerge after some time. Black pepper, a pronounced briny note and nutmeg also make an appearance and there is an almost wine-like quality to the nose.
Palate: Sweet, spicy and rich, with the vegetal note definitely present but not as pronounced as on the nose. Surprisingly, the sea salt which played a rather big role on the nose does not feature as much on the palate. Palma violets, grassy undertones and barley sugar combine rather well with a dense yet fruity sherry note, which makes this a rather enjoyable dram.
Finish: Relatively sweet, spicy and lingering on the finish, with the sherry and black pepper the dominant aspects at the very end. A distant whiff of smoke adds to the complexity of this dram.
Balance: An easy to drink, fairly well-balanced and spicy dram which is not overly complex, but presents a good amount of complexity to make it enticing and interesting. Probably not for the novice drinker, but fans of Springbank are sure to appreciate this dram all the same.
The Tobermory 1995 19 Years Old is available for the in-bar consumption by the bottle or the dram or for retail purchase by the bottle, so head on down to the bar to sample this unique beauty!
Written By Brendan Pillai for The Single Cask
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