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Monday, November 16, 2020

Tormore 16 year old (2018)

You've been waiting all decade for this:


You're welcome.

One of the main ingredients in Ballantine's blended whisky, Tormore has been around for all of 62 years and has already passed from Long John Distillers to Whitbread to Allied Lyons/Domecq to Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard). The distillery's product been blend fodder for most of its life, showing up sporadically as a 5 or 10 year old single malt during earlier decades, then as a 12 year old during the Aughts. In 2014, a 14 and 16 year old formed a new official range, with the latter malt bottled non-chillfiltered at 48%abv. Though that setup sounds promising the malts are only released in less than a handful of European countries. Thus Pernod Ricard doesn't seem to take the Tormore single malt that seriously. Gotta bottle more Ballantine's.

Today I'll be reviewing the 16 year old from what I believe is a 2018 batch. All sarcasm aside, I've been looking forward to this one, hoping to find promise in a lesser-loved distillery.

Distillery: Tormore
Ownership: Chivas Brothers (Pernod Ricard)
Region: Morayshire, Speyside
Age: minimum 16 years old
Maturation: "American Oak" per labels
Bottling year: 2018 (I think)
Alcohol by Volume: 48%
Chillfiltered? No
Colored? Probably
(from a purchased sample)


Honey, roasted grains and roasted nuts on the nose, in fact there's a lot of honey in this one. Some white peaches and date rolls. Orange peels and cloves, slightly reminiscent of mulled wine. It becomes earthier with time. The palate is very malty, with an oily mouthfeel. It's loaded with citrus: think limes, yuzu and clementines. A touch of bitter herbal liqueur around the edges and some earthiness in the background. It finishes with a balance of sweet and tart citrus fruits up front, with the bitter liqueur lingering in the back. Plenty of malt fills the middle.


In addition to enjoying the malt assault, I could have sworn there was some sherry cask action in the mix but perhaps that's just a combination of rich oak and a bold spirit? While it's neither subtle nor intellectual, Tormore 16 is a thick, bold whisky, and one I wish was more widely available. One can see how it would fit in a Compass Box-style vatting or as a flavoring malt in a good blend, but still it does work as a single malt, one with more flair than I'd expected from the Tormore factory.

Availability - A few European countries, and possibly Japan?
Pricing - around €60 - €80 with VAT
Rating - 86

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