|Scotland, Highlands, Islands, Isle of Mull
|Distell Group vis Burn Stewart Distillers
|Fino Sherry Finish
|55.1% (110.2 Proof)
One of my all-time faves. The little sherry-finished Tobermory engine that could. And it seems to have flown below the radar of a lot of folks. Perhaps because it’s list price wasn’t exactly cheap for a distillery with a relatively low profile compared to the big players.
Nose: (9.1/10) A fresh squirt of fussy cola jumps over the rim of the glass first, revealing a deeper layer of dark shoe polish hiding behind it. This slowly peels off of some heavy furniture that’s been polished with teak oil. I watch all this happening while munching on delicate blackberry gummy bears. And the whole thing comes with free nose tickles. Lovely.
Palate: (9.5/10) A huge, thick, heavy sheet of concentrated, dry sherry slices and rumbles through my mouth like those flexing steel plates classical orchestras use for making thunder. This is sherry thunder and lightning in a bottle. On subsequent sips things calm down a bit and I can hear myself think again. But that sense of a vast expanse of dry sherry demanding room to fill doesn’t go away. If anything some of the furniture and shoe polish related notes are managing to make themselves heard and add further depth and complexity to the experience. That initial bit of cola, however, does not seem to have survived the storm. This is a gorgeous palate. Damn.
Finish: (9.2/10) Right after the impact of that palate perceiving the finish requires a conscious effort. Though it will rise to awareness on its own over time. A great dry, peaceful silence settles on everything. There is a residual glow lingering at the top of the palate. There is a mild warmth in the chest (and I wish there was just a little more heat there). And, whodathunk, that little bit of cola did survive after all and alights on each breath like a bunch of sun motes wafting about on the fading esophageal thermals. I am happy.
Balance: (9.3/10) What can I say. This is some really, seriously, very good whisky. Wish I could find more of it. Wish I had bought more at the time but, not knowing, it seemed pricey. The only complaint I have, and it barely qualifies as such, is that perhaps the finish could have been just a little stronger so the drop in intensity from the palate wasn’t quite so steep. What an astonishing dram. This kind of experience is why I love this stuff. Amazing.