First off: Not that we score with this in mind, understand, but I do love the simple and aesthetically pleasing packaging. No need for frills and all that jazz when it comes to young, readily available malts. Old school, clean and classy. But what strikes my eye as pleasing is incidental to what’s in the bottle, right? So let’s move on.
Tobermory is a distillery on the Isle of Mull. You may recall we tried one of their peated expressions (Ledaig 10) just a few days back, so I won’t rehash any of the details here that we already covered there. The distillery produces a rather limited range of products and independent versions are few and far between (at least where I live), so, to date, I have managed to wrap my hands around only four different bottles of Tobermory: two indies and two distillery bottlings. All quite different from one another, I might add, but none especially vibrant in its own right. And yes, this release is one of those that I have tried a few times before. Suffice it to say that sitting down to jot up some notes on the standard 10 year old is a slightly less than thrilling endeavour.
I won’t throw a lot of words at a whisky that I’m really sort of ambivalent towards, so let’s just let the malt speak for itself.
Nose: A youngish ten. Somewhat aggressive. Vaguely peaty. Even a little feinty. Lemon. Pepper. There’s hints of Jura here and even a banana-like note that reminds a little of young Bunnahabhain. Some very under ripe cranberry and crunchy apple with a dusting of cinnamon. Wood shavings, a barley mill and just a hint of ash and dirt. This is supposed to be the unpeated malt from this distillery? Hmmm, sorry…not quite.
Palate: Wow. Like a mouthful of white flour and raw grains. Pastry dough. More apples and a hint of ginger. Honey. Almost tastes like a young virgin oak malt. Not a lot in the way of fruit. More woods and cereals. Even some grassy notes. Or maybe damp green tea leaves. A rather fun palate in some ways, and a little bit of a departure from the nose. Interesting, if a little unbalanced.
Thoughts: Not bad, but not a very subtle malt either. Could stand to benefit from either longer maturation or better wood choice, I think.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt