Tobermory Distillery on Mull may not be as well known as some of the other island distilleries, but they have a solid range of whiskies across the Tobermory and Ledaig brands.
Owner Burn Stewart also run Bunnahabhain and Deanston and with the takeover by the South African Distell Group in 2013, there is much more emphasis on the single malt expressions from each distillery.
This 19 Year Old Spanish Sherry Cask Finish is a distillery exclusive and bottled at 58.2% ABV.
Our notes are below.
There’s no disguising the sherry maturation with the coppery colour of the whisky, and the nose has some classic flavours too. Ripe raisins, a little cherry and just a whiff of sulphur all present and correct.
A little vanilla and green apples emerges after some time – it’s a bright, fresh nose.
Burnt sugar, dried raisins and a slightly salty note all in the initial taste. Despite the alcohol strength, it’s not too fiery and the liquid is still relatively thin, but coats the mouth.
Some dark chocolate, bitter coffee and leathery flavours also arrive, but it’s not hugely complex. A decent flavour, but doesn’t blow me away.
The fruit subsides in the finish and darker flavours like leather, tobacco and bitter chocolate remain. This should be a good end flavour, but is spoiled by the presence of a sulphur note which dominates, adding an unwanted rubbery dryness and the resulting finish ends up being fairly short.
The Tobermory 19 Spanish Sherry Cask Finish isn’t a bad whisky, but neither is it one which I’d seek out again based on this tasting.
It may just be the batch I’ve had, but the whisky feels a bit forced and off-balance – it works in the nose, however the flavour felt a bit too ‘sherried’ in the palate (and this is from someone who rates Bunnahabhain 18 as one of their favourite whiskies).
I’d also add that the strong finishing flavours combined with the strength made the whisky seem much younger than it’s 19 years – I’d have guessed it to be much younger in a blind tasting.
If you’re a proper sherry monster, then it may be right up your street however I’d suggest that there are better whiskies in this style which I’d choose before this.