Tobermory 20, 1994 (Wilson & Morgan)

My first review for this month was of a Tobermory distilled in 1994 and bottled by the Italian independent, Wilson & Morgan. Let’s close out the month’s whisky reviews with another Tobermory distilled in 1994 and bottled by Wilson & Morgan. This is two years older than the previous—and where that was from an ex-bourbon cask, this one is from an oloroso sherry cask. Sherry cask Tobermorys have heretofore been the ones I’ve liked the best and I’m hoping that trend will continue with this one. Let’s get right to it.

(By the way, though this may seem like a very untimely review, I believe this is still available in Europe.)

Tobermory 20, 1994 (50%; Wilson & Morgan; oloroso sherry cask #5043; from a purchased sample) 

Nose: Oh, very Tobemory indeed: plastic, aspirin, plus a big vegetal note. On the second sniff there’s salt (the only sign of sherry so far). After another minute or so there’s some copper (coins), a bit of orange. Very Tobermory, through and through. Water pulls out brighter citrus and dry leaves; a hint of honey too.

Palate: Thankfully, the sherry has more to say here: the plastic/vegetal complex is held at bay by orange and a hint of cocoa. Brinier as it sits, with just a hint of gunpowder. The Tobermory character is lurking under it all and actually forms an interesting counterpoint to the sherry. With more time the citrus gets brighter (lemon), it gets a bit leafy, and then the sherry begins to separate a little. Okay, time for water. Yes, water ties everything together quite nicely and brings out more of the sherry character (it’s still on the brighter side).

Finish: Medium. The sweeter notes hang out and the cocoa/milk chocolate thing gets stronger at the end.

Comments: This didn’t start out very promisingly on the nose but I quite liked it on the palate. Water improved it all around. This is not an oloroso bomb but it’s good, and not at all standard sherried whisky.

Rating: 86 points.


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