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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!