A sophisticated single malt from the Tobermory distillery, which is based on the Isle of Mull. Aged for 10 years in ex-bourbon casks, this unpeated whisky abounds with notes of gingerbread, honey, aniseed and rich fruit.
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“Tobermory was founded by Dugald Drummond in 1696”, the distillery website tells us. And in that time it has gone on to produce some of the best whiskies to have come out of Scotland. Tobermory is based on the Isle of Mull which, although small, is actually surrounded by two other islands only one of which, the north most one, is allowed to visit regularly. The distillery is situated on the island of Knapdale, which I believe is one of the uninhabited ones.
Tobermory is a single malt, non-peated, offering a distinctive peat smoke aroma without, thankfully, that much peat. Unlike most Scottish distilleries it also produces malts of both grain and malt.
The price, as you would expect, is significantly higher. At first glance it seems they must have started the brand with a large break even point in mind. The house style, as one writer puts it, is “deliciously dour, unpretentious and old school, with a lightly peated edge”.
Smooth, creamy, rich, spicy, full bodied and bright with a surprisingly mild bite at the end. Sweet fruits and spice such as nutmeg are present.
Tobermory is part of the Port Ellen distillery, perhaps best known for being the home of the legendary Malt Master’s bottling of the beastly Cask No.7757, the favourite bottling of many whisky lovers on the Isle of Islay.
The distillery and malt have a legendary reputation among malt collectors and may well be among the best quality. The legal age of the malts is 10 years and can be up to 30 years old in bottles. The provenance is entirely original to the distillery and the distillate is very pure.
Before Tobermory was one of the great traditional soulless distilleries on Islay, it was a flourishing distillery on Glenlivet, closed in 1926 and one of the most renowned distilleries on Scotland in the first half of the twentieth century, before being upgraded to a second-degree malt in the 1980s.
Tobermory achieved a Gold at the San Francisco 1978 Islay Scotch Awards for “Best Islay Malt”, and a Silver in 1979 at the Edinburgh World Whiskies Awards. The whisky, much of it matured on the original pot stills, has been awarded many medals before 1990, but has only received medals at the Gold first class level or better since then.
Tobermory is celebrated in French literature and music,
Tobermory Scotch from Tobermory is a fascinating and multifaceted malt. It is a gentle, sweet whisky, rather unpretentiously produced, that does not strain one’s emotions. It reminds me of those first whiskies one tasted growing up. It is a malt that shines and it shimmers. The first time I tasted it, it left me with a feeling of warm happiness. It is very easy to drink.
The Tobermory 10 year old has a superior character right from the beginning. It’s smooth and light in the nose. It’s true that you can sense some iodine (pepper, or rather ginger) and then there are honey and gingerbread-like aromas.
It’s simple yet very enjoyable, it has a good aroma and a gentle taste with lots of fruits and then a slight peppery bite.
Tobermory 10 is not just a standard distillery, it’s a home for Irish and Scottish flavors. They’re fairly quiet on the distillery front, as are many distilleries in Ireland. Their main route to fame has been for their Glengoyne, which is a delicious and gentle, slightly fruity malt with an excellent length.
The bottling offers good energy at the price of a good brandy, and you are able to bring a nice balance to a meal. The taste is often very pleasant and satisfying.
These very talented men are doing a perfect job at making malt, with a lot of imagination and a great taste. And to top it off, they make it without just playing on the price.
Tobermorey is a little bit more taken in its stride than some of the other more traditional Islay malts. It has a generally more balanced character, with a light underside, compared with some other malt. At the expense of some of the smokier aspects of the island’s strength, the originality of the whisky is preserved, and although it is not one of the most difficult ones to buy, it is one of the most consistent: a good character that is more than worthy of exaltation.