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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

January 4, 2022


Tormore at random

Tormore at random as we sometimes like to do this, one at a time and as they come out of the boxes and off the shelves, without any form of logic. For more fun.

Tormore 27 yo 1992/2020 (43.7%, Berry Bros. & Rudd for Kirsch Import, Odessa Black Wine cask, cask #101153)

Tormore 27 yo 1992/2020 (43.7%, Berry Bros. & Rudd for Kirsch Import, Odessa Black Wine cask, cask #101153) Four stars
I would suppose the wine was one of those thickish Crimeans, Massandra-style. Or, yes, PX-style. Let's see if this is for the Czars amongst us… Colour: between apricots and proper Scottish smoked salmon. Nose: touches of cellar earth and saltpetre at first, while peonies and nectarines are soon to jump to your nostrils. Peaches, raisins, prickly pears and cranberry juice, bruised bananas, crystallised cherries and liquorice allsorts, then sweet soft mustard sauce, walnut wine, moist gingerbread, and just a wee touch of tar… Mouth: sweet and very fruity, we're almost in gewurztraminer territory. Some cherry jam, more cranberries, honeysuckle, a little banana liqueur… Would become meady after a short while, with a little pine resin too. Cough syrup. Finish: medium, rather rich but the citrus keep it fresh. Figs and muscat grapes, plus oranges in the aftertaste. Oranges will save the world. Comments: a pretty scary set-up that ended very well. I'm really pleased with this one ans shall now check what that Odessa Black Wine really is. I know I'm turning this job inside out.
SGP:741 - 87 points.

Tormore 22 yo 1995/2018 (46%, The Whisky Lodge, Orcines, hogshead, cask #20035)

Tormore 22 yo 1995/2018 (46%, The Whisky Lodge, Orcines, hogshead, cask #20035) Four stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: first whiffs of wood smoke, then an impeccable fruitiness (orchard fruits, plums and apples…) and what we call oriental pastries, which are all led by honey, orange blossom and rosewater. A big fat honey cake straight from the oven and some preserved mirabelles that would remind me of middle-aged Balvenie. Now, there are hardly 15 miles between Tormore and Dufftown, which is like a 7 hour drive. Of course I'm joking, that would rather be twenty minutes. Mouth: real good, sweet, rather rich and syrupy, full of liqueurs, jams and syrups. I'll mention mirabelles again, quinces, and certainly figs. Very good and the 46% vol. work extremely well. Finish: rather long, with a wee smokiness once more (botrytis?) and just more mirabelle jam. More citrus in the aftertaste. Comments: some bottled sin that would tend to jump into your throat if you're not careful. I find this really excellent.
SGP:641 - 88 points.

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (50.2%, Chapter 7, bourbon barrel, 239 bottles)

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (50.2%, Chapter 7, bourbon barrel, 239 bottles) Four stars and a half
Colour: gold. Nose: sameish, wonderfully fruity, western, perhaps with a little more pastry dough, fresh brioche, otherwise indeed, mirabelles, quinces and orange blossom water. With water: vegetal oils, peanut oil, croissants… Mouth (neat): rather sublime, and different this time. Fresh broken branches, white asparagus, sunflower oil, mirabelles, earl grey, marzipan, blancmange, bananas… Sublime, really sublime. It doesn't really need any water, but since we're here and since our stocks of Vittel have been replenished… With water: pure, gorgeous, exceptional malty barleyness, and just a few gritty, leafier elements. Green tea, unsweetened, and green bananas. Finish: perhaps a notch less 'wow' because of all this green tea, otherwise it would have made it to 90 in my wee book. Comments: this, I suppose, is where blenders would have added a little oomph using 15% younger Tormore. But then you would have lost the lovely age statement and would have had to come up with both a silly name and an unlikely story. An elf roaming the warehouses at night, etcetera.
SGP:551 - 88 points.

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (53%, Whisky Spunge, 1st fill barrels, 422 bottles)

Tormore 31 yo 1990/2021 (53%, Whisky Spunge, 1st fill barrels, 422 bottles) Four stars and a half
The Sponge's, I mean the Spunge's take on retro labelling. What will future generations of whisky lovers think and believe when they'll see this as They'll say it's a fake since they've written Spunge instead of Sponge. Now if this lousy website is still up, they'll find the answer. Colour: gold. Nose: this is a rather breadier offering, while the core would have remained mostly on orchard fruits, plums, apples… Brioche-y bread running the show. Brioche-y bread is perfect with foie gras when toasted. Then some mentholy lemons, which would just lift it, and perhaps touches of candied turnips in olive oil and honey sauce. With water: gooseberries and greengages! Mouth (neat): richer, waxier than the previous 1990, fatter as well. Beeswax, mead, Meursault and mirabelles. I agree there's not a throwaway here. With water: gets wilder, earthier, and waxier yet. Finish: rather long. More rustic, fermentary, and with more stewed apples. A touch of coconut in the aftertaste – there, down twenty points. I'm joking. Comments: very good. Careful with water though, don't add more than one or two drops or it may react bizarrely.
SGP:551 - 88 points.

We're rather on a stroll, are we not? Let's check an OB…

Tormore 16 yo (48%, OB, +/-2020)

Tormore 16 yo (48%, OB, +/-2020) Four stars
There are batch numbers but I've missed that one this time. Last time I tried the 16 that was a '2014' and I really liked it (WF 83) even if we were far from the indies we've just tried. Colour: gold. Nose: very nice, on patchouli, IPA, hops, tangerines and custard. There's something ooh-ah here, or as we would say in Mittelleuropa, something with quite some hoppla. Imagine, there are even mangos! Mouth: hey but this is excellent. Wonderful syrupy tropical fruits, flowers (lime), honey, citrons, mangos indeed, and a feeling of… both Bushmills and Redbreast. Is that normal? Is that me? Finish: long, with always as many tropical fruits led by mangos. Juicyfruit. Comments: right, Tormore belongs to Pernod and so does Redbreast… There might be a plot there… But it's a wonderful drop for sure, this newer batch of Tormore 16. Oh and don't Pernod own mango fields? The plot thickens…
SGP:641 - 87 points.

Tormore 28 yo 1992 (47.3%, Thompson Brothers, refill hogshead, 252 bottles, +/-2020)

Tormore 28 yo 1992 (47.3%, Thompson Brothers, refill hogshead, 252 bottles, +/-2020) Five stars
Love the label, it makes me think of Del Maguey's mezcals. It's true that with global warming, they'll soon grow magueys/agaves around Ballindalloch, as well as in Dornoch for that matter. Colour: gold. Nose: this is purer, rather all on peaches, bananas, mangos and honeys, but not in a wham-bam way. Wonderful but having said that, it's got an Irish side as well. A little sandalwood and incense. Mouth: pure indeed, even if there's a saltiness growing here, sardines stewed in mango and blood orange juice, pink grapefruits, small seashells (whelks and winkles)… This sure comes unexpected, this much coastalness in a Tormore! Absolutely wonderful cask. What was in there before they filled the Tormore, I don't know. It would be cool to know. Finish: medium, superb. Salty citrus and maracuja, with some liquorice in the aftertaste. Comments: we've found a 90, so our soul is tranquillo but our heart is still willing… Amazing drop, well done Phil and Simon.
SGP:552 - 90 points.

Tormore 32 yo 1988/2020 (47.1%, The Whisky Agency, Keep Going, hogshead, 187 bottles)

Tormore 32 yo 1988/2020 (47.1%, The Whisky Agency, Keep Going, hogshead, 187 bottles) Four stars and a half
Keep Going, isn't that a very Johnnie-Walker kind of motto? Colour: gold. Nose: once you've got those fab old Irish in your mind (Midleton, Bushmills) you're virtually dead as you just couldn't get them out. Mangos honey patchouli earth prickly pears eucalyptus bidis Juicyfruit all-vitamin juice puréed passion fruit and Kools. Mouth: the oldness feels a little more, with a little more pine-y oak, mint, heavy liquorice and mocha. Having said that the very expressive fruits are still there as well, together with assorted honeys and fruity herbs. That woodruff that we'll cherish forever until we join our friends in the Whisky Walhalla. Finish: medium, but with a similar saltiness as that in the stunning Thompson's. Which is intriguing… Comments: loved the tobacco in the nose. Kools, do they still make them?
SGP:661 - 88 points.

Oh, we still had this older one from Cadenhead's…

Tormore 33 yo 1984/2017 (51.7%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon, 132 bottles)

Tormore 33 yo 1984/2017 (51.7%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection, bourbon, 132 bottles) Four stars
Colour: gold. Nose: much, much, and I mean much leafier than the others. A lot of chlorophyll, leaves, stems, grasses… well you see what I mean. Loads of patchouli, apple peel, fresh walnuts, melon skin… That's absolutely not bad news, but water will have to put its acts together… With water: malt, bread, beer. I know, doesn't sound too extravagant, but after 33 years, finding bread in a malt whisky is like finding water on Mars. Is there life on Mars? A God-awful small affair indeed (S., that last part was just plain ridiculous). Mouth (neat): oh good, it is now full of fruits and herbs, citrus, mint, eucalyptus, liquorice, aniseed… What a wonderful arrival. Let's see what Vittel will do to it (Nestlé, where's that bloody Lamborghini?) With water: provided you do not add too much H2O, you'll be left with a very liquoricy and citrusy malt. Just one drop please, or… Finish: yeah it doesn't swim too well. Keep it neat. Mentholy, herbal finish. Comments: the nose was a little uncertain but the palate was stunning. Well, water rather kills it (tannins coming out like gremlins from under your desk).
SGP:571 - 87 points.

Tormore 27 yo 1988/2015 (50%, Golden Cask, cask #CM225, 226 bottles)

Tormore 27 yo 1988/2015 (50%, Golden Cask, cask #CM225, 226 bottles) Four stars
We know they don't swim, so we won't add any waters this time. So much for viscometrical observations! I mean, viscimetrical ones. We learn, that's evolution in motion, is it not. Colour: white wine. Nose: more on peelings, herbs, grasses and leaves. Mouth: more citrus, tart lemons, limoncello, manzana verde liqueur. Finish: long, grassy and lemony. Very very zesty. Comments: it's not a matter of water, this is an excellent ultra-tart Tormore, it's just that it would cut you into halves if you're not careful enough. Big acidity.
SGP:651 - 85 points.

Good, a last one. Perhaps another Golden Cask…

Tormore 26 yo 1988/2015 (53.3%, Golden Cask, cask #CM226, 278 bottles)

Tormore 26 yo 1988/2015 (53.3%, Golden Cask, cask #CM226, 278 bottles) Four stars
A sister cask, obviously, and more lemons, I would presume... Please fasten your seatbelt… Colour: gold. Nose: he-he, no, this is rounder one, with more honey and mangos, more Irishness in a way, a little more beeswax as well, meadow flowers, soft custard, orange blossom… No, we said no waterz. Mouth: I really like this, it's got this sauvignon-blanc-like kind of backbone, this lovely uncompromising tartness, and yet these luscious oranges and grapefruits, with even a little litchi in the end of the end (of the end). Finish: long and realty very grassy. Green peppers and lemon zests. A lot of pepper in the aftertaste, you would almost believe you've just had the harshest chilli con carne in Chihuahua. Whatever.  Comments: it went back to the tightest lemons, but it's a superb juice for sure. I'm sure you could make some billionaire's margarita out of this.
SGP:661 - 87 points.

Ten Tormores of good age and of high quality, that's what I would call a tasting session. Hugs.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Tormore we've tasted so far







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