...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Tobermory 10 year old 2005 Single Cask Nation, cask 10

With a review of the fruity, moderately peated Ledaig era behind us, it's time to usher in the Ledaig-as-Beast era. (Actually I have no idea if the other four scheduled Ledaigs are like today's, but I can guarantee you they'll be more like this one, and less like Monday's.)

Burn Stewart Distillers bought Tobermory Distillery from Kirkleavington Property Co. (seriously) in 1993, but didn't seem to make too many immediate changes to their spirits' style. Ian MacMillan became the master distiller in 1996, yet a real change to the single malts didn't appear until the rollout of the revamped range in 2010 (thus ~2000 distillations) when Ledaig and Tobermory had new stylized duds as well as a proper bottling at 46.3%abv nc/ncf. Independently bottled Ledaigs from the new millennium were pummeling in with 35ppm peated malt that seemed to lose very little phenolic power after distillation. I enjoy both the old stuff and the new stuff, though some of those indies were WOW strong.

Today's "HEAVILY PEATED" Tobermory spent 10 short years in a refill hoggie, and has something to say about it.

Also swiped from Whiskybase
Distillery: Tobermory
Malt: Ledaig
Owner: Distell International Ltd.
Region: Isle of Mull
Independent Bottler: Single Cask Nation
Age: 20 years (July 2005 - August 2015)
Maturation: refill hogshead
Outturn: 235 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 56.7%
(thank you to St. Brett of Riverside for the sample!)


Scorched earth peat dominates the nose: burnt moss, burnt grass, rotting kelp, black smokestacks and dead bonfires. The occasional cashew too. The palate is also massively peated, reading mostly as soot. But it doesn't quite neutralize the taste buds. Hints of lemons, almond butter, mint leaf and a tiny bit of sweetness cower beneath the smoke. It's very salty on the finish, with soot and heat in the middle, lemon in the back.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or >1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose still leans mostly on heavy dark smoke, but now there's more ocean, some dried herbs and a vegetal note. The smoke becomes pepperier on the palate. Herbal bitterness appears, and the almond butter remains. It finishes with ocean water and soot.


My handwritten notes read, "This is sort of like Ardbeg's sharper, smarter cousin." Looking back at the actual tasting notes, I see this whisky as a stand-in for the still non-existent Ardbeg 10yo CS. It has Ardbeg Ten's soot, and then some, with hints of citrus in the background. But like many bold peaters, this Ledaig has a difficult time developing beyond its monolithic nature. So it has one big note, and the rest is all undeveloped potential. It's a good note though.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 85


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Remember when Tobermory 10yo was a joke punch line?