Tobermory is the only distillery on the Isle of Mull which is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides. In the 2011 census the resident population of Mull was a meager 2,800. More people live in my 1,000 unit apartment building than the entire Island of Mull which measures at 338 square miles. Tobermory was founded by John Sinclair in 1798 and was originally named Ledaig. Sinclair was originally a soda ash merchant who burned the locally plentiful kelp to supply his trade. The distillery closed in 1837 and remained silent for 41 years until it’s reopening in 1878. John Hopkins and Company acquired the distillery in 1890 and operated it until it’s second closure in 1930. During the mid 20th century the distillery was relegated as a power plant. Currently Tobermory is owned and operated by Burn Stewart Distillers. Most of it’s whisky is used in blends – Scottish Leader and Black Bottle. There are two official single malt bottlings – a 10 year and 15 year. Today I’m reviewing the 10 year old which is un-chillfiltered and bottled at 46.3% ABV
Nose: brine, sea breeze, seaweed, fresh orange rinds
Mouth: SALT, honey, milk chocolate, lime, tangy
Finish: peppery, chocolate, honey sweetness, cereal, ginger
Verdict: This is a very unique whisky from the get-go. The nose may not be appealing to some due to a distinct fermented seaweed-like smell. I didn’t mind it. There’s also unmistakable brine and sea breeze characteristics. Finally fresh orange rinds round out the nose nicely. I enjoyed the sweet palate which is composed of honey, milk chocolate and tangy fruit. There’s also an added component of salt and lime – kind of like the condiments one would have with tequila. The finish starts off with strong ginger and black peppery notes and tapers off into honey nut cereal sweetness with chocolate undertones. On the whole this whisky is very enjoyable and perfect for a daily sipper. I’m an instant fan.