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Tobermory 10 Year Old (old presentation)

Average score from 18 reviews and 45 ratings 78

Tobermory 10 Year Old (old presentation)

Product details

  • Brand: Tobermory
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 40.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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@markjedi1
Tobermory 10 Year Old (old presentation)

In 2011 Burn Stewart – owners of Tobermory – decided to bottle their malts at 46.3%, making chill filtration superfluous. Today I got my hands on an older dumpy bottling at 40%.

The nose is very sweet on baked apples and loads of Turkish Delight. Raisins and figs in oatmeal, sprinkled with brown sugar. Some vanilla and banana flambéed, a bit of honey and something floral, but hard to pin down. Some old beer takes away a bit of the sparkle of this otherwise pleasant and aromatic nose.

The body is fine. The sweetness from the nose returns on the palate, but is now decorated with a salty edge and lots of citrus fruit. Think lemon and bitter oranges. Woodsmoke presents itself and gives the malt some depth.

The finish is rather short on salt & pepper and sweet apples.

Not a grand whisky, but nothing wrong with it either. And in all honesty better than today’s offering.

@markjedi1

Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull was initially called Ledaig, did you know? Ledaig is nowadays the name of their peaty whisky. The distillery was renamed Tobermory in 1979. This is their modern version of Tobermory single malt, bottled at 46,3% ABV, making chill filtration superfluous.

While I get some apples on the nose, it is dominated by coastal elements. Think seaweeds, salt, but also wet hay and some oatmeal. A touch of vanilla and something floral as well. It is a bit dirty, if you know what I mean.

I get a lot more fruit on the palate. Apples, oranges, but also a slice of pineapple. Hint of banana. That is countered nicely by the salty notes. Some woodsmoke. This is better than expected.

The finish is fairly short on apples, sweet malt and a whiff of salt and pepper.

The nose was not really convincing, but on the palate this is quite nice. Very affordable, around 30 EUR. Thanks, Pat!

You make this sound really good 'n dirty.

I had a sample of the new 46% at a tasting a couple years ago (OK, I remember exactly: early 2013) and thought it was really surprising and unexpectedly zippy. I was all set to buy a bottle the next time I had money in my whisky piggy bank, and the young buck at the shop gave me a sample from behind the counter. Dull. (And it wasn't the old bottle.) So I passed, but it's occupied a little corner of my mind since then. It's still my list of straightforward whiskies to pick up as a contrast to the peaty stuff I usually drink.

I'll have this review in mind the day I let old Tobermory make it to the top of my buy list.

@markjedi1: Very nice informative review, interesting to see it hasn't changed to much from when i had a bottle 3 years ago pineapple, apples, cucumber and lots of coastal elements @OlJas It gets a lot of help from oxidation so maybe the bottle was a little too fresh

@Pierre_W

Tobermory distillery is the only distillery on the island of Mull, directly North of Islay and the Isle of Jura. It was founded as Ledaig distillery in 1798 by John Sinclair and was one of a small number of distilleries that were established before the Excise Act of 1823 that legalised the production of whisky. The distillery was licensed in 1823 but was closed in 1837 and remained so for over four decades until production resumed again in 1878. In 1890 the distillery was obtained by John Hopkins & Co. who were themselves bought in 1916 by DCL (Distillers Company Limited). In 1930 the distillery was closed again following a drop in the demand of whisky due to ten years of prohibition in the US. In 1972 it was reopened under the name of Ledaig Distillery Ltd. but again saw a number of closures and re-openings, was renamed Tobermory Distillers Ltd. in 1979 and was purchased in 1991 by Burn Stewart Distillers for £600,000 plus £200,000 for stock. Since 2013 the distillery has been owned by the South African Distell Group.

The nose is rather rich with flavours of lemon and vanilla, accompanied by hints of oranges. Overall this is nicely malty but somewhat austere, with hints of liquorice and sawdust in the background. After a while the nose gets quite zesty, and quite surprisingly so.

The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. Again, there are honey, lemons and hints of oranges, followed by notes of liquorice and mint.

The finish is long, grassy, and warming. Honey and lemon flavours are back, followed by black pepper.

I have to say that enjoyed this a lot. Interestingly, it is one of the few cases where I like the palate better than the nose: I am no big friend of (lemon) zestiness, and in this respect the nose was a bit too much for my own comfort. However all in all this is a good quality malt that I shall enjoy sipping on warm summer evenings.

t

This is the new version of the Tobermory 10 year old, un-chillfiltered and bottled at 46.3%. I've never tasted the old version, so I don't have any comparisons to make, but looking at the previous reviews on Connosr neither look particularly popular...

­Nose – Fruity but light, dry Fino sherry, slightly winey, prunes, pears and raisins soaked in alcohol dominate at first, then apple cider and green apple, cloves, some furniture polish, subtle spices in the background, aniseed, fennel, dry vanilla, a hint of ginger and menthol.

­Palate – Not as sweet as the nose, still some preserved fruit, with an intense arrival of pears, grapes and sultanas, cider and sour green apples which develops into green herbal notes of aniseed, fennel and conifers. Lots of spices, some fresh ginger, lots of cloves, a hint of peppermint and fresh watercress.

­Finish – A generally bitter finish with lots of fresh green oak and cloves, more ginger, dry and herbal, green tea, fennel and a possible hint of salt.

Interesting and complex, a green whisky, very fresh and herbal, dry sherry with a very good balance between the sweet and bitter. Very different to what I was expecting and some quite unusual flavours, but definitely worth a try!

@thewhiskydoctor thanks for the review. I've been curious about this new take on the 10yr expression. I too was not interested in the older version, but your review makes it sound worthy of investigation.

@Megawatt

Nose: a tad pungent, almost sweaty, then sweeter notes save the day. Aniseed, sour apple, barnyard hay. Given time and a bit of water the malt expands and really jumps out of the glass with citrus and vanilla sweetness. An odd nose but rather appealing after all.

Taste: hot and slightly sour on the tongue. Those rich licorice and fruit notes appear. Also a smoky element, the suggestion of peat. Again that sweet, thick malt flavour dominates. Also a salty note to remind you this is an island malt (though I hear it's matured on the mainland).

Finish: a little sour for my liking, but nothing I can't handle.

Balance: a bit of a rough-and-tumble whisky but with loads of charm. Very straightforward and unpretentious too: no colouring, no cask finishing, no obscene peat levels or any other gimmicks. Reminds me somewhat of the Laddie 10 with it's sweet/salty interplay and thick, full-bodied taste. This is the second great whisky I've had from this unheralded distillery. I would heartily recommend it.

@hunggar

I’m waiting in anticipation to receive a bottle of Tobermory 15, something I’ve been hoping to try for some time now. In the meantime, I recently came across a miniature of the Tobermory 10 and I figure I’d give it a go. This isn’t the new bottling at 46.3%, this is the old pre-2010 one at 40%. Apparently this wasn’t “top shelf,” in its day, but that isn’t always an indicator of quality. I was still curious, so here we go.

Nose: Quite fruity. Loads of apples and pears. Gentle cereal notes and honey follow suit. Butter and salt. Some ginger spice. The vanilla here comes off as somewhat flat. Not complex, but the fruitiness is fresh and inviting enough. Not as awful as other reviews would suggest, imho.

Palate: Light bodied with an oily mouthfeel. Not much happens on the arrival other than a bit of apple and a gentle floral note. Quite uneventful.

Finish: Spices kick in. Black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and a bit of star anise. There’s hints of peat somewhere in here but it doesn’t develop into anything. The apple and pear fruitiness linger for a short while and then dissipate.

This is not a great whisky. It’s drinkable, but there’s nothing particularly attractive here. I suppose its only redeeming feature would be the salty, buttery character which is reminiscent of OP. However this lacks the finesse, complexity, and charisma that make OP such a special dram. This old bottling was apparently a budget bin whisky, which is fine. But with Tobermory’s new direction as a premium whisky, I hope they’ve stepped up their game for the 46.3% release. Unfortunately I hardly feel motivated to find out. However I'm not ready to write this distillery off on the whole. Ledaig and Tobermory 15 remain on the list of things to try, but I’ll skip this one next time.

@tjb

Tobermory is the only distillery on the Isle of Mull. I have heard differing opinions on the 10 year expression although universally the 15 seems popular. I thought I would try a bottle and see which side of the fence I would fall on.

In the glass it looks slightly oily and is very pale in colour, the lightest shade of pale straw.

The nose is honey, oak, citrus, floral and grassy.

Sweet honey upfront which is swiftly replaced by a salty oak tang. There are hints of fruit but these are masked fairly effectively.

There is a short salty finish.

For those that like the style I'm sure it's very good. I for one am not a huge fan and along with Old a Pulteney WK217 I can see its merits but they just don't ring my bell.

@Pandemonium

Bought me a bottle in Portree (yes, I know) a couple of weeks ago, but only opened it now, had to try a few others first.

Nose, well what can I say: when I opened the bottle, I was surprised that the first sents that reached my nose were not those that I generally associate with a whisky,it actually reminded me more of Saké.

With a second, proper, nosing that same saké sent became an undertone, but still very present, overall the nose is fairly light, some barley, yes, spices, grinded pepper to be more specific. Nothing special, except for that strange Saké smell.

Taste, oily, dried fruits, maybe a hints of cinnamon and salt with whiffs of smoke, but well saturated with spices. Some other reviews claimed that it has a long finish, I tend to disagree; my experience is rather short and light but that peppery taste does hang around in your mouth for quite some time.

Overall not a bad malt, but not really my taste. Overall judgement may be a bit harsh, but I expected much more from this islander

I agree with the saké connection, i myself distinguished it as rice-vinegar but saké seems to complete that flavor-combo. I liked it alot, but i understand if it's not your taste it's a difficult malt but worth it in my opinion. Very good review!

L

Tobermory was a single malt that i alwasy felt a bit sorry for. For one it comes from one of the locations i would most like to visit (Oban, sound of Mull&Isle of Mull) secondly it seems to be that eternal cinderella malt. And i don't know why, but the characteristic i seem to share the most with scots as a non-scot, is this under-dog aspiration and (sometimes avid) protection.

Happily for us that are in that same boat, the new owners Burn Stewart have done (As with Bunna&Deanston)a really damn good job indeed.

This now becomes a wonderfull coastal alternative for your next step in the whisky alongside Old Pulteney 12 and the Springbank 10 year old, which is a theme i will come back to after the tasting notes.

Nose: Salty&Super briny, with a big sour undertone. The tone of this whisky is sour and bitter. Rice-Vinegar with cucumber and more salty brine. There is some malty sweetness giving a bit of balance to the deck as some anis and aniseed rounds off the nose.

Palate: The Salty, Briny and Bitter/Sour nature hits you again immediately, but there is more to it than that. The Anis reuintes with the sweet malt for a lovely bitterweet interaction, whilst the salty brine storm continues to pelt your palate. Some cucumber again but with some seaweed and spinach. The finnish goes back to the salty/briny coastal sweet amlty character but with some limepeppers and a bit of youthfull heat. As Ralfy said in his review there is definetely a Vermouth note in here too, interesting!

Intriguing malt, that personifies the term Cinderella malt admirably.

To come back to the Springbank review i did previously this is to re-quote, and i guess, re-phrase my quote from that earlier review: World 2 Level 1.

More than that it shares an equally big relationship with the Old Pulteney 12 and also.. the Laddie 10, because of it's bryniness and caostal/vegetal quality. Which is why i would add that if you don't like salty and most importantly briny whiskies, then be cautious, this one definetely is. But a great one at that, and if you like your coastal drams, this is a good'n!!

Can't wait for a 12 year old! Cheers!

Be shure to try Ledaig, also from Tobermory distilleries

Addition to review There is also a Granny Smith note coming through as part of that complex sour note. (acidic green apples)

@Rantavahti

Tobermory 10 year old was purely a nice surprise. Very gentle for a 10 year old whisky, but still managing to offer character and some edges to keep it interesting.

Funny how Tobermory 10 yrs is a bit on the dry and fruity side, which I usually don't go for but in this case I do 'cause those elements come gentle enough.

Tobermory 10 yrs is gently stingy yet sweet and malty, a great combination of two different sides. Like watching Muhammad Ali performing, whether it's in the ring or in front of media. Great rhythm and enough but not too much complexity.

This one floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee...

Nose: Fresh with sugared barley, oak and spices. Wee notes of gingery kind of dryness and toast.

Taste: Nicely sweet with honey and lightly sharp with dried fruits. Oak and peppers offer some sharpness as well.

Finish: Very long and mildly spicy and dry. Malty with herbal notes.

Balance: Refreshingly dry and crispy without being too sharp. Good whisky indeed!

Think I agree with Rigmorole. It's one malt that I genuinely did not like - it tasted like alcoholic vegetable oil when I tried it. But that was many years ago and they could well have improved it since, (certainly sounds like it). Or it could just simply be one that's not to my taste.

@Rantavahti - This is the "new and improved" Tobermory, no? I'm assuming so, as the old bottle (the one pictured on this page) was at 40% ABV. The new one (at 46.3%, pictured here: tinyurl.com/373lue7) is said to be much better.

@MisterDigger

This one is not quite reulsive, but almost. I figured that a unique island malt would offer something special, so I ordered one glass at the bar. My notes were that it tasted like alcohol and not much else. I won't sample it again.

R

The nose is on the weak side. Light, airy, hints of rancid butter, cloves, oak, brown sugar. It improves a little with some time in the glass, but not much. The palette is a bit like an Irish whisky. Notes of rice cereal and slightly burnt toast. Oak to some degree with a hint of All Spice.
The finish is more of the same and not overly long.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. Compared to the Tobermory 15, this is pig swill. It sure as heck is not worth $65 in Oregon for a bottle. I love the 15. It's awesome craft made whisky of the highest caliber. Not so for the 10: a red headed cross-eyed step child.

I can buy a bottle of Highland Park 12 or Old Pulteney 12 for $40. Why would I bother with Tobermory 10 for over half again more?

Answer: I won't. Good thing I tasted the T10 in a pub first, or I would be unhappy if I'd purchased a green bottle of this stuff.

The pub charged $12.75 for a glass, which I feel is too much for this whisky. For the same price at that pub, I can buy a Glenfarclas 10 for two bucks less. That's a no brainer.

I will never feel the urge to taste Tobermory 10 again. I can't say as the experience of tasting this whisky has improved my understanding of single malt scotch. It's one lesson I would rather not have paid for.

I poured a dash of Ledaig 10 into my Tobermory 10 and the mix improved my glass of Tobermory dramatically. I ordered them both at the same time, so pouring in a dash was easy enough to do, and well worth it.

I saw the bottle the week before. It looked like this: boozehund.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/drink/…

Not sure what I drank, but it wasn't good. Maybe my glass was poured from a different bottle, an older one? Not sure. I doubt it, but it was very busy and the barmaid poured me a Tullamore Dew first by accident. I straightened that out. It was actually the waiter's fault. I told him I wanted a Tobermory 10 year and he said, "okay, one Tullamore Dew comin right up," and I stopped him and said, no, "To ber mor y" very slowly and he said, "Right, Tullamore, that's what I said." Then I asked him for his writing pad and pen and wrote down the correct name, year, and "un-chill filtered" after it, all of which I had said the first time. If that waiter came back with an older Tobermory or some other crap then there is no excuse for that sort of an ADD person waiting tables. Then again, it is possible. The bar was very busy with St. Patrick's day. Still, I am writing off Tobermory 10. I suspect that is indeed what I drank. I dearly love the 15 year. I'm a big fan of that and I have two bottles of it right now.

First time I got a Tullamore, even though I very clearly twice said "Tobermory 10 Unchillfiltered" to the waiter. I corrected him, he said it wrong, I had him write it down, and he still brought me the Tullamore Dew. Then I wrote it down for him and he came back with what I drank. I didn't touch the Tullamore Dew. I couldn't give it away. Nobody around wanted it. That was surprising. Another thing that I didn't like was the way my scotch was served in plastic cups yesterday at the bar. Very tacky. It's one thing to get a Tullamore Dew in a plastic glass, but two $16 scotches? No good. Highland Stillhouse gets a black mark for yesterday, despite being so busy. Still, it's a great place when not busy, despite the occasional grumpy bartender there. I could see getting served plastic outside but not at the bar. Lame. Very lame.

@talexander

A little while ago I reviewed an independent bottling of Ledaig (one of two expressions coming out of Tobermory Distillery on the Isle of Mull). I wish I had saved some so that I could do a side-by-side comparison with this, the standard Tobermory bottling.

Apparently, before 2010, most considered this expression to be very substandard. But that year, under master distiller Ian Macmillan, the ABV was increased from 40% to 46.3%, and the process of chill filtering was removed (at 46% the whisky will not become cloudy when ice is added, so chill filtering is not necessary to prevent that from happening. Not that it matters a whit.) I haven't tried this earlier bottling so I can't compare, but my understanding it is a huge improvement. This bottling is also of natural colour.

Which is a very pale yellow. Very herbal on the nose (with mint and sage), grassy, all enveloped by peat with a wisp of smoke. Slightly medicinal. A sweet maltiness. Water brings out more vegetal peat notes (though I accidentally poured a bit more water than I wanted to).

The palate is salty, briny, and definitely has a bit of bite to it. Quite a bit of citrus. Slightly rubbery, in a good way. Definite Island character. Water ups the salt, to the point of being a little overpowering, unfortunately.

The finish is medium length but tight. Slight hint of bacon fat at the very end, which is interesting. While this is not a spectacular malt, it certainly does express the terroir of an Island distillery - sampling this was a Talisker or an Islay would be interesting, though I fear this one would likely come up short. It's not a dram you can have too much of - it is rather tight and a little too briny. I preferred the Ledaig because the heavier phenols carried it better and added something more distinctive.

@Eye_lah_Guy

A pure sister to Ledaig (the original distillery moniker, now a smaller and “peated” version of Tobermory), Tobermory is Ledaig without the leathery peat of the Isle of Mull. A unique if not entirely memorable experience, both are worth visiting for their quality and singular destinations

Sweet praline followed by buttery caramel and clean malt, with an onslaught of toasted barley and oak cask, smoky yet at once earthy, which diffuses the sweetness for a superior balance. Finish is subtle, warm, and satisfying, with bright accents of roasted malt, sparkling grain and the delicate reinstatement of the buttery nut, done with the predictable class of this excellent distillery.

@jwise

I have had this bottle for about a year now, and frankly, it doesn't get drunk very often. Actually, it never gets drunk. I bought the whisky because it represents the only distillery on the Isle of Mull.

This bottle is old (with an ABV of 40%) and is not representative of their latest bottling (un-chill filtered at 46.3%).

Nose: Lots of sea air, with lesser notes of citrus fruit. Almonds, with dandelion. Mostly, however, it is sea air with just a bit of seaweed. This is not Highland Park. This is not Lagavulin. This is not that great. This is interesting, but lets see what else this whisky has in store for us... After coming back after a few sips, the fruitier notes are rising. This is getting better.

Body: Light body; not overly smooth.

Palate: Spice hits the palate right off. Some herbal notes build. There are some sour notes that predominate: like eating the rind of an orange. Not really appetizing to tell you the truth. Ok, on the third or fourth pull this is getting better. Some of the fruitier notes are coming out. Perhaps I should try this again with a couple drops of water? There are now some slight notes of ripe fruit on the tip of the tongue, with the sour citrus hitting the middle of the palate.

Finish: Medium length, plenty of spice to keep things interesting. Citrus: orange rind. Not the fruit, but the rind. Not sweet at all. At the end of the glass, the finish is still a good medium length, with lots of spice building at the end.

I'm going to finish this drink, but I'm not sure how long its going to be until I open this bottle again. This is not because the whisky turns me off, because it doesn't. it's just that I've got some really great malts up in my cabinet, and this does not rank very highly.

r

A good scotch, clean, smooth and smoky. Gently peated. Not very complex, it remembers me some traits of Johnnie Walker Red and Chivas. Medium persistent chocolate finish. Good, excellent quality/price whisky.

@DrB

I got a light household cleanser smell on the nose, mixed with stale candy, dry pasta, and Swiss cheese. I thought the palate was, overall, sweet and “spring fresh” like after a rain shower. The finish was not outstanding, but was rather nice. Sort of peaty with a little candy in there too. I couldn’t readily identify the notes with any particular candy. My wife said, "Smells like candy... some kind of candy I don't like." But I thought it was pretty good.

My bottle of Tobermory 10 is also uniquely green with white-painted lettering, but it is taller and thinner. This is one of my lowest-cost single malts, which IMO, would be considered as a budget scotch, and which may compete with the better blends.

"Spring Fresh" was quite accurate. Tried my first dram at a local spirits shop a couple of days ago. Mostly, it was "nondescript" but I could see it as a first time scotch drinker's dram. Not intimidating, rather bland, but OK.

@SvenFonteyn

This whisky has fresh, nutty taste with a real strong boddy. It has no pepper taste so if you like a strong whisky that does not take you by the throat this the one.

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