Whisky Focus - Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish Review

Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish Joins Core Range

24th September 2020
Tobermory unveils a 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish which joins the core range of the island distillery.

Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask FinishTobermory Distillery today announced the addition of a new Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish to their core range of whiskies.

Fans of the outstanding Tobermory 15 Year Old limited release which is now long gone will be interested to know that the new Tobermory 23 Year Old is actually the 15 Year Old they loved so much 8 years on.

The Tobermory 15 year old which was initially matured in American ex-Bourbon casks on the Hebridean Isle of Mull for 14 years then shipped to the Scottish mainland where it was re-casked into what is now known to have been the highest of quality First Fill Gonzales Byass Oloroso Sherry casks then shipped back to the Isle of Mull for one final year of maturation, the new Tobermory 23 Year Old is that same whisky but with a further 8 years in those quality sherry casks making it a total of 9 years it has spent finishing in the First Fill Gonzales Byass Oloroso sherry casks.

Tobermory are hailing the new 23 year old as the return of an old friend which they say is an an even more exquisite and full-flavoured whisky than the 15 year old we knew.

Bottle at 46% ABV, non chill-filtered and naturally coloured, they describe the new Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish as "a deep rose-gold sherried single malt which has unique notes of vanilla, ripe oranges, toasted barley and fruitcake on the nose. With an obvious sherry influence on the palate, salted toffee, candied citrus and floral honey are also evident, all tied together with a caramelized walnut and subtle salty finish".

To commemorate its time on the Isle of Mull, the distillery has collaborated with another of the Hebridean island’s long-standing stalwarts, Mull Silver and Goldsmith, on a one-of-a-kind sterling silver and gold quaich which will be auctioned alongside the new bottle in the coming months. Silver is a traditional 23rd anniversary gift, and the gold coating signifies the deep liquid-gold of the exquisite 23 year old malt.

Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish and the Mull Silver and Goldsmith one-of-a-kind sterling silver and gold quaich which will be auctioned for The BEN – a Scottish hospitality charity.

The quaich celebrates the creative and expressive nature of the Tobermory distillery and its island home. Funds raised from the auction will go to The BEN – a Scottish hospitality charity that is seeing more demand for ever for their services as a result of Covid-19.

Julieann Fernandez, Master Blender at Tobermory Distillery, said: "Our team at the distillery have been working hard for many years on the return of this old friend, and we’re incredibly proud to be introducing whisky drinkers around the world this exciting addition to the core range.

"Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder and the extra years have been spent well, as our whisky has continued to mature into the new sherried expression.

"The Island of Mull is a remarkable melting pot of artistry and creativity. This one-off silver quaich is a visualisation of the expert craftmanship and care that goes into the exceptional spirit we are releasing. By bringing together two makers on the island, we’re celebrating this passion for creativity on the world stage.

"One of the finest expressions we’ve ever made, it’s an honour to introduce Tobermory 23 to markets in Europe, Asia and the UK.

Phil Campbell, founder of Isle of Mull Silver and Goldsmiths said: "It was a joy to work on such a beautiful piece of silver, crafting it into a unique piece of art to mark the launch of Tobermory 23.

"Precision, creativity and attention to detail have defined our offering for the last four decades so it was a pleasure collaborate with this artisan distillery from our island home."

I have no doubt that the new Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish will be a bigger, bolder, sherried dram than its younger 15 year old sibling and with an RRP of £320 you will need deep pockets to find out just how good it is, I certainly have high hopes for it given the quality of the now gone 15 year old and I will update you if I do get a chance to taste it.

The Tobermory 23 Year Old will soon be available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt and is currently available to pre-order for £299 from The Whisky Shop

Tobermory 23 Year Old Oloroso Cask Finish Review

Review added 7th October 2021.

William Morrison's Tasting Notes:

Nose: A rich enticing fruity nose with orange, sweet raisin and sultana infused toffee, a little toasty vanilla and a little sugared almond lurking in the background.

Taste: A deliciously rich sherried fruit delivery, burnt raisins and sultanas are joined by a mix of mildly zesty and candied orange, a little nuttiness and some salted caramel, behind the fruitiness is a lovely touch of honey and some vanilla giving a nod to its age, some lovely oak spice and ginger hanging around in the background.

Finish: The sherried fruit is more spiced now and hangs around with the salted caramel for an age before bittering out and leaving you with a touch of ginger and lovely mildly drying lingering oak spice. and a little nuttiness.

Comment: A lovely long sherry finished Tobermory and those casks used to finish it have been of the highest of quality, not a huge sherry bomb but it certainly a mature sherried pleasure on the palate and the long finish just simply extends that pleasure. If your pockets deep enough this mature deliciously rich sherried Tobermory wont disappoint.

SMW Score 91/100

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