In 2017 Tobermory released this official 15 years old on the market. It was bottled at cask strength and finished on Marsala wine casks. Marsala is a fortified wine produced on the Italian island of Sicily. This wine never gets an age statement because it is aged via the solera-system, as is also custom in the sherry industry. Marsala is also a classic ingredient in Tiramisu, but let’s stick to the whisky for now.
Tobermory is unmistakable on the nose with it’s light coastal character and typical hessian sacks. But that is decorated with strawberries, candied sugar, black grapes and marzipan. Cloves and vanilla are there too. Molded wood but without disturbing. Becomes sweeter as it get to breathe. I am surprised in a good way.
It starts very sweet and syrupy, but soon a good helping of salt is added, making this quite coastal indeed. The Marsala tries to counter that by adding some dried fruit and dark honey. But it’s very sharp, because of the high ABV. If you’re not careful, you might cut yourself! Tobacco, green herbs and liquorice try to get a piece of the action, but to no avail.
The finish is wonderfully long, warm with lots of woodsmoke and a true battle between sweet and salty.
In all honesty, I had expected this to be sweeter, but at the end of the day, this is simply an outstanding Tobermory. Impressive!