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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.