Review: Cadenhead's Tobermory 19 year old sherry cask

Firstly I’ll start with an apology for not reviewing this Cadenhead Tobermory sooner. The bottle formed part of their summer releases which hit the shelves around late July. I’ve been purposely trying to take a more organic approach to content; breaking away from mere reviews of releases. I also seemingly cannot count as I managed to purchase 2 bottles of this release without realising it, or maybe I have too many bottles to keep track of?
 
In the blogging sphere there are some blogs that seem inundated with free samples; thankfully I’m not one of them for several reasons including my health. A 5cl is a quick hit and based more on first impressions. By purchasing a bottle and then taking my time with it, hopefully I’m painting a more robust picture. So I apologise for enjoying my weekend evenings with a couple of drams, deliberating for weeks if not months before commencing on the keyboard.
 
Whisky in my opinion is about enjoyment and new experiences neither of which I’ll sacrifice to fly through the samples whisky friends have given me and are gathering dust on the sipping shelf. The downside is that by the time I get around to reviewing one of these including Cadenhead purchases, word may have hit the street as it often does when something really special is on sale for a great price. I felt the Hazelburn met that strict criteria and it’s no surprise that it has sold out since. A recent visit to the shop confirmed that this sherry cask Tobermory is still on sale if you’re interested but stocks are low. Yes, Hazelburn, I must open that one soon.
 
Now I have dealt with Tobermory and Cadenhead's before with a frankly bonkers 15 year old released in 2012. You can read about that experience right here. A couple of years have since passed and the distillery remains as unfashionable as a British Knights shell suit. Yet there is a market somewhere for everything and everyone. I'm actually more inclined to try the unknowns or the overlooked rather than the blue chip distilleries. I've been informed that this is a rather good sherry cask bottling and the colour pays testament to that. So lets not hang about.
Distillery: Tobermory
Distilled: 1995
Bottled: July 2014 (19 years old)
Strength: 54.2%
Edition of: 498 bottles
Cask: its a sherry cask folks
Price: expect to pay just £65.90
 
Colour: real bronze
 
Nose: plunging yourself headfirst into a huge waxy leather sofa and savouring those aromas. Warm salted caramel, pine needles, roasted cashew nuts and oranges but more diluted than the freshly squeezed variety. The sherry cask has done a lovely job with the nose.
 
Taste: when I tasted the other Tobermory linked on this piece there was an ash-like characteristic and it is still present here but not as foreboding. Linseed oil, lots of black pepper, a little ginger, sultanas, vanilla, dark chocolate and grapefruit.

Flicking through the latest edition of the Whisky Bible I can see that Murray decided this one was riddled with sulphur. Amazingly its not. Perhaps a bad sample as suggested in his introduction? There is a faint remnant but I suppose its all too easy to be a diva and write off something immediately. That's why I do try to buy bottles at least 20cl in size but mainly the standard 70cl. Then, take that extra time to enjoy the bottle, as experience shows me whiskies I've dismissed come to life further down the fill level you submerge.

This is a powerful sherry beasty. A robust dram that won't find favour with everyone.

Whisky Rover

Instagram