OK, let me start with a confession. I should have posted my impressions of this whisky ages ago but it slipped my mind for some reason. I’ve just found my tasting notes scribbled in the back of a notebook that accompanied me on my Hebrides bike trip in… ahem… May. Better late than never, then, and I hope you can trust my memory.
I was keen to try Tobermory when my ferry from the Ardnamurchan reached the town’s port. My only experience of this distillery’s output was Ledaig (pronounced Lead-chig) a few years ago and was surprised that such a pale and, on first impressions, insipid looking whisky could pack such an agreeable peaty punch. The Tobermory 10 is a very different animal: sweeter, but rich nonetheless.
The ten-year is non-chillfiltered and weighs in with an ABV of 46.3%. The distillery is quick to point out that no caramel is added in the production process. I tried it neat and with spring water, which pleasantly lightened its characteristics. For me, these are:
Stick your nose in a glass of the 10 year-old and you get a fruity, honey nose. Others identify oak, but I was struck by the freshness (that observation may be coloured by my Islay malt fixation, though).
The chief taste sensation for me was the honey. I can’t think of another malt I’ve tried where this is so evident: a clear, but not overpowering, sweetness. This is accompanied by citrus tones and the overall sense is clean and zesty. I discussed this at length with the rather nice folk at the distillery before buying a bottle.
While I would have preferred a longer finish, I enjoyed this far more than say, Oban, another coastal scotch that is just too dry and spiky for my taste. This malt balances the sweetness with salt and spice.
The Tobermory 10 is a great introduction to malt whisky. I think most people considering their first malt purchase would find it very satisfactory. With that sweetness, a hefty measure would sit nicely on plenty of ice too.