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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.