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Tobermory 22 yo (1995/2018, Jack Wieber’s, 44,3%)

More highlights from the Whisky Revolution Freedram: some of you may know, as irredeemable rater we asked the festival participants to make themselves accomplices of our own faults and to assign a vote to each whisky they tasted, so that we could then elect the ‘best’ of the festival. Without aiming to do philosophy here about the shared evaluation criteria (because hey, it was something to have fun with, not an international competition) we simply return to the verdict: this ex-Bourbon single cask from Tobermory, selected and bottled by Jack Wieber’s in 2018 in the picturesque Old Train Line series, triumphed as the most appreciated malt by those who were present. Let’s check the verdict of the popular jury immediately!

N: what a beautiful, seductive and complex nose. Very buttery and deep: short pastry without a doubt, then notes of cream and apple pastries – there is fruit, lots of it, there are apples, pears, even notes that sail towards tropicality… But it is a candied, dried tropicality: dried coconut and mango. The apple, on second thought, is devastating: it comes in every form, there is stewed apple, fresh apple, canned apple peel… We missed a small patina of wax, at first, but it is there, and it contributes to the exaltation.

P: very rich, but it confirms the promises of the palate only in part, proposing itself as much sharper than the nose foreshadowed. There is a very Tobermory note, with something quite metallic and dusty. Lots of spices too, with a strange pepper and nutmeg, or cloves… The fruit is there but it’s not very recognizable, between a light persimmon, apple and a diffused sense of orange (sweetened orange juice, they say). A little bit of chestnut, a little bit of custard – but a little bit, just a little bit.

F: long, and this sharp, metallic and dusty note persists (will it be copper sulphite?); here comes a floral tip, maybe violet?

We don’t know, maybe it’s just a Monday morning feeling, but lately we are finding less and less frequently ‘incoherent’ whiskies, which show a different profile between nose and palate: well, in this case we found it! This Tobermory shows a truly exceptional, deep and mottled nose, while the palate becomes sharper and dusty, revealing the distillery’s more ‘weird’ soul, dirty and irreducible to pandering – perhaps a little bit too much in that direction? Well, it’s a matter of taste, certainly it’s a dram striking for its particularity. All in all, we confirm that it really is a great whisky: 89/100.

Recommended soundtrack: Jorja Smith X Preditah – On My Mind.

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