Tobemory 10 Year Old is a single-malt scotch produced at the Tobermory distillery on the island of Mull, which is located in the Highlands region of Scotland. The 10 year old, while having ghosts of peat in the taste, is not an actual peated malt. The age stamp of 10 years means that the youngest whisky in the bottle has been aged at least 10 years. The image shown above is not the look of the current bottle but was the look of my first bottle so it is the one I chose for this review.
Off the cork; it smells like it’s going to taste just a little peaty but there’s also something that brings citrus to mind. The aroma is not overpowering and not harsh, though there does seem to be a decent bit of body present. The smell is a bit stronger out of the glass, hinting toward a bit more body and the citrus smell is more dominant out of the glass than the peaty smell.
The first thing you notice about Tobermory 10 Year Old is that it’s very dry, almost like a big bodied red wine. While it doesn’t quite consume the palate the way some fuller bodies scotches will do, it definitely lets you know it’s there. There’s a slight roughness at first, but it calms quickly if you hold the whisky in your mouth for just a bit. The initial taste is subtle and grassy with a slight tinge of saltiness that most people associate with peated malts (Tobermory 10 year old is not peated). The edges of the tongue pick up some slight peppery tones and a nutty flavor can be discovered if held toward the front of the tongue.
This is where Tobermory 10 Year Old shines the most. The finish lingers long enough to satisfy but doesn’t hang around longer than it’s wanted. The first part of the finish hits with a citrus taste, very similar to the smell. It’s not quite subtle but it’s not overpowering. It’s there to say hi, let you know it said hi and then be on its way. It’s hard to say whether the other finishing flavor is more minty or more akin to black licorice (perhaps anise?) but it’s very satisfying.
While Tobermory 10 Year Old is a fantastic scotch that I’d recommend to any scotch drinker, it’s not one I’d recommend to a beginner. It has a little more body than what I’d recommend to someone starting out and might be perceived as rough or harsh (it’s only 10, how smooth were you at 10?). For someone who has seasoned their palate and is looking for something refreshingly different, however, Tobermory 10 Year Old is a great single malt to try and with it typically being in the $40 to $50 range, it’s affordable enough to buy a bottle without breaking the bank (which you will need to do if you want to try it because you’ll be hard pressed to find a bar that sells it by the shot unless you’re lucky enough to have a bar that specializes in scotch close by). I always enjoy this whisky and while I wouldn’t quite say it’s a “must have” for your whisky cabinet at home, it’s definitely one I’m proud to have in mine.