Burn Stewart Distillers is one of the only multi distillery owning companies that I can truly say that I have a real affinity for each of the four brands in the portfolio, Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Ledaig and Deanston. In fact, I have multiple bottles from each of their distilleries in my cabinet, and coming to think about it, no other distilling producer with multiple distilleries can make that claim.
It started with the move to 46.3% as a standard with no chill filtration and no coloring, and it now continues with extensive and interesting work with cask finishes. This work affords us a glimpse into what the same casks can do with different distillates at different ages, and to me that is a worthy project on its own.
I was able to taste the six 2018 releases in the Distell Limited Edition Single Malts, and will publish my tasting notes over the next week or so:
- Tobermory 2005, 12 year old, Fino Cask Finish
- Ledaig 1998, 19 year old, Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
- Ledaig 1998, 19 year old, Pedro Ximenes Cask Finish
- Deanston 2008 Brandy Cask Finish
- Bunnahabhain 2008 Mòine Bordeaux Red Wine Cask Matured
- Bunnahabhain Palo Cortado Cask Finish
Starting with the Tobermory:
Tobermory 2005 Fino Cask Finish, 12 Year Old (55.1%)
Appearance: Amber, beautifully spaced legs down the sides of the glass.
Nose: Coastal and a bit tart, like having a falafel on the beach. Malty with sour Japanese plums, milk chocolate and a touch of toffee.
Palate: Thick and viscous with malt, light black pepper and a sweetness. Nutmeg and slightly salty, with hints of fresh apricots and peaches and a far off suggestion of dulce de leche. Water brings out a bit of varnish.
Linger: Tangy, light spices on the tongue with some wood dryness. The spices linger with that fresh apricot and the tart sherry remains on the inside of the cheeks.
This has a great amount of base flavors: salty, sweet, sour and sharp and they’re really well balanced.