Apr 122015
 

Tormore is one of those distilleries that have no real fans. With official bottlings that were put out sporadically and not really marketed, despite there being a new 16 year old bottled at 48% and non chill filtered out on the market for over a year (the other OB is a 14 year old bottled at 43%) and the fact that there was a 12 year old out for over a decade, following a 1991 release by then owners Allied Distillers in their ‘Caledonian Malts’ that didn’t pick up any serious market share, so it was replaced by Scapa.

Pernod Ricard’s Tormore was built in 1958 (By Allied Distillers, later Allied Domecq), and looks very different than any other distillery, so it would easily be passed by on the nearby A95 highway. With four pairs of stills producing lightly peated spirit, it has a capacity of 4.4 million liters per year, nearly all of it goes into blends.

Photo Credit: panoramio.com

Photo Credit: panoramio.com

Besides the official bottlings, casks of Tormore make their way to independent bottlers, as did this cask which aged for 19 years in a hogshead (with a rather surprising amount of liquid left in it after 19 years – representing only a 15% loss to the angels, but with the low ABV this would indicate maturation in a cold and very humid environment with relatively little temperature fluctuation).

Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Exclusives...

Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Exclusives…

Tormore 19 Year Old – Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Bottling, Hogshead 20315, Distilled 1995, Bottled 2015, 289 Bottles (49.1% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Pale gold with thick long forming legs.

Nose: There are some light sherry notes here, but I’m not sure if this it’s sherry or the hogshead influence. I found notes of peaches, malt, hay, freshly cut grass, dry spices, green apples, some sour notes. A drop of water brings out some cereal and crushed green leaves.

Palate: The peaches remain into the palate as well with notes of honey, somewhat fizzy spices, cinnamon and light pepper and some green fruity notes.

Linger: Spicy both in the mouth and in the throat, light sweetness on the tongue with a rather long spicy linger with a long note of cocoa powder.

Conclusion

This is a fabulous expression, changing and growing with time in the glass (and I’m sure in an open bottle as well). The sour and sweet play with each other nicely, and this will keep your interest for a while.

Tomer Goren did a great job choosing this cask, and really took Whisky Live Tel-Aviv to a new level. I’m positive that the 2016 show will be even better.

 

Apr 032015
 

There’s some real history being made here. In the summer there were a couple of travel retail exclusive bottlings for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (and you can see my review of the controversial Aultmore XO, and there was also a Craigellechie 18 I didn’t get to taste), but those are limited to people flying out of the country. The two single cask bottlings for Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 (you can find the recap here) are the first ever special single casks aimed at the Israeli consumer inside Israel. There were two bottles available: This 7 year old Craigellachie and the other is a fascinating Tormore 19, to be reviewed in this space. As with the show itself, these exclusive bottlings are the brainchild and doing of Tomer Goren (@WhiskyIL), a fellow Malt Monger and the owner of one of Israel’s leading liquor stores, as well as Milk and Honey Distillery’s distiller.

Thank you, Tomer, for all you’re doing to make Israel a whisky empire!

Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Exclusives...

Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Exclusives…

Craigellachie 7 Year Old – Whisky Live Tel Aviv 2015 Bottling, Butt 900771, Distilled 2007, Bottled 2015, 654 Bottles (66% ABV, NCF, NC)

Appearance: Gold, quick legs but a ring of residue remains in glass.

Nose: Young sherry, very fruity, warm spices, malt, a baking cake, cinnamon bun with glaze, toasted wood. With time in glass, a somewhat sour note develops.

Palate: At first there’s a sweet wave, then some spice and they dissipate into hints of fruit. Water brings out more fruitiness and moves the spice to the top of the palate (interesting sensation there).

Linger: Without water you get concentrated sweetness (almost like artificial sweetener) and notes of cinnamon. Water makes the linger on this shine with some dryness, a warm sweetness, cinnamon and light clove. The finish lingers for a long time on the palate, and the spices in the throat. The finish on this one is really good.

 

Conclusion

This is young, but very enjoyable with the sherry in the background, but is by no means a sherry bomb. It was also very reasonably priced at €48 pre VAT (250 ILS including VAT, or €57).

I bought a bottle (well, I bought one, but didn’t take delivery of it yet), and look forward to seeing how it develops with some breathing 🙂