Just before we delve into the Fèis Ìle week celebrating Islay malts, I have an update on on of the most outstanding of my drams of 2015.
Back In December 2015, one of my birthday drams was a precious sample of the Tobermory 42, which wasn’t released at the time. You can find the original post here. In that article, I speculated about some features that the Ledaig 42 had, but no release details were actually available. They are now, and here’s the full picture:
Most of the spirit was distilled in 1973, although it does contain some of the first non peated spirit distilled on the new stills in 1972. There are 650 bottles available and unlike the Ledaig 42, it will not come with an ‘inheritance’ bottle of 10 year old whisky from the first run of the new stills in 2024. I asked Tobermory directly if it came with an inheritance bottle, and got the following answer:
“Hi Michael – sadly it doesn’t! The Tobermory 42 year old is actually the rarest whisky ever produced at Tobermory Distillery (only 650 bottles). We know that a whisky of this age will not appear again for quite some time, so it’s truly historical in its own right. We are glad to see you enjoyed it though, as well as our Ledaig 42 year old and hope you aren’t too disappointed with this news!”
Pricing is not yet known, but the £3000 the Ledaig 42 commanded would be my ballpark estimate. It might be a little less as there are 650 bottles to the Ledaig’s 500, coupled with the fact that there’s no inheritance bottle, but I don’t think it will be too much less even with those factors.
I’ll repost my tasting notes on this beauty, with the correct picture this time.
Tobermory 42, Oloroso Sherry Finish, 650 Bottles (47.7% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Dark mahogany, very slow legs coming off a very steady necklace.
Nose: Deep old oak, leather, assorted dry fruit (dried peaches, apricots and prunes), old spices and some fresh sherry. Left to rest, some sour notes rise to the nose, with that very present oak. After some more time, a rich red fruity sweetness dominates.
Palate: Very thick, a lot of oak with some sherry sweetness, white pepper and sharp cloves in a very drying and tannic effect. There are also fruity notes that bring red berries to mind.
Linger: Drying, with a very tannic feeling all around the mouth, with a touch of sourness. There are light spices with a bitterness you’d associate with old wood. The linger is very long with sweet notes that come through on the tongue and some spices high in the throat.
This is a classic old sherry bomb, with the Oloroso finish serving to freshen up the sherry influence in the casks. It’s clear that the original had too much wood on its own, but the finish seems to have balanced that out nicely.
I must admit that I was too stingy to put water in it, but I’m pretty sure that if you have a bottle of it, you might want to experiment with water and see if it has a good effect on the whisky. All in all, this is definitely a dram to try if you can.