Experience has shown that each Tormore is different; at times,
the margins of variation are minor and other times extreme. It’s these facets
that keep our Tormore4 group entertained as this distillery continues to
satisfy and on occasion excel.
As is such the case with so many distilleries nowadays, it’s
the independent sector that offers variation and choice. Whilst some
distilleries do not even possess an official range – Tormore is fortunate in
this regard – quite often when one does exist it’s been engineered to the point
where the essence of the distillery character has subsided and what remains is
an echo of what once was. On Twitter, I’m asked on an ad hoc basis about this
bottle of Tormore and what about this one here. Interest is rising but so is also the
willingness to step outside the official domain and explore.
For the record, the current duo that form the Tormore
official range are the 14 and 16-year-old expressions. Neither sits well with
me because they lack the essence of the distillery character that I’ve grown to
appreciate as you can see from our Tormore Vertical Tasting. The 50cl Chivas bottling you may stumble across during your travels
from their Cask Strength range is a more valid undertaking.
These 2 samples were kind gifts to the online resource of
Tormore we’re building here at Whisky Rover. We have the first batch from the
That Boutique-y Whisky Company bottled at 50% and this was released during the
period when they did not provide age statements. This has since sold out and
the second batch is still available online albeit not for long given the
comments I’ve heard about it. My thanks to Dave for bringing the remnants of
the first batch bottle north for exploration after the Boutique-y Whisky Company tasting in Edinburgh.
Our other sample comes from Ben via his whisky review site.
After exploring the Single Malts of Scotland range in greater detail, he knew
where to send the 28-year-old Tormore bottled at a mighty 63.3% strength. From
a single bourbon cask number 602, just 163 bottles were produced and these retail at around
£150. On paper I was quite intrigued by this feisty middle-aged gent, which must have
been filled into the cask at a lovely strength.
These days it’s difficult to keep up with the onslaught of
new independent bottlers arriving on the scene. What is amazing is the range of
breadth of their designs, pricing and cask access. For the consumer, it all
adds up to a rather momentous if slightly expense period of existence. The
Malts of Scotland range is a recent creation from Speciality Drinks Limited who
have been bottling for over a decade mainly with the Elements of Islay range.
In essence, it’s linked to The Whisky Exchange, which is where you’ll find
their current comprehensive range. That Boutique-y Whisky Company is of course
linked to Master of Malt thereby demonstrating the power of the Internet today
with both labels linked to the major 2 online whisky retail players in the UK, if not the world.
Both could not be different in terms of presentation with a
more elegant and refined gent style adopted by Malts of Scotland as opposed to
Boutique-y’s cartoon detailed labelling. You may have your own favourite style,
but as I rarely have my bottles out on show whilst they’re harbouring contents
it doesn’t matter to Whisky Rover. You could wrap the exterior in a brown paper
bag as l only care about the contents ultimately. Especially those from The
Tormore. However, I do appreciate the effort and as I have some casks lying
around Scotland, one-day Whisky Rover will have to consider such details whilst
engaging in a spot of cask liberation. For now, let us experience the wonder
and majesty of the Tormore times two.
Tormore Batch 1 Boutique-y Whisky Company
Colour: a light honey
Nose: very fresh with juicy pink lady apples with a certain vibrant fizz. Mint leaf and Key lime pie followed by a buttery raw pastry and some shortbread. There's a floral heather note and a gentle toffee.
Taste: some noticeable cask char before it subdues and a light vanilla cream takes over. This moves into a white chocolate realm before the fruits revive with red apples and pears with then savoury elements with rocket leaves and celeriac. A fleeting touch of smoke right at the back as well.
Overall: very engaging and just enough interest for this Tormore enthusiast. Doing my usual sums to move this from 50cl to 70cl and its just crept over the £100 barrier. It's a moot point as its sold out now and Batch 2 is heading the same way. A little too much but that could be resolved by the age statement which I'm pleased Boutique-y are now displaying on their releases.
Tormore 1998 Single Malts of Scotland
Colour: apple juice
Nose: very sugary initially with tablet and that creamy element and a talc dryness. Then the characteristic apples arrive in unison with the floral notes and dried raisins. More of the vanilla cream and a touch of dampness to add character.
Taste: vanilla and poached pears with meringues and those old skool sugar cubes. Spices and fruit unite with a rich fruit loaf vibe making for a really nice body, with a gentle finish that starts off tart but moves into a chocolate raisin sweetness.
Overall: very refined indeed, you can pick up the elegance of the whisky and its confidence clearly. I just which I had more of a sample to delve into its depths! The strength isn't overpowering either, which makes you question why we're filling casks at 63.5% nowadays.
Well, two more additions to the Tomore files. Again both have features of its distillery character and its playful engaging qualities. The Boutique-y release is a great deal of fun and I'm looking forward to experiencing Batch 2 soon enough. For £150 you're getting a lot of whisky as the Single Malts of Scotland, whether its the age or strength; you're in control to adapt things to your experience. If there's still some left once Cadenheads are done with 2017, I will be making an order or for those who say I'm difficult to purchase Christmas presents for - here's the hint! Oh and its available at Abbey Whisky as well.
Images kindly provided by Abbey Whisky and The Whisky Exchange.
Labels: featured, Speyside, That Boutique-Y Whisky Company, tormore