Tuesday, June 07, 2011

what's the story?

As I alluded to last time, I've got a bit of whisky blogging to catch up on, so here's another one. It wasn't so long since I sampled (and liked) the entry-level (and dirt cheap) Ledaig from the Tobermory distillery on the Isle of Mull; well, here's their standard product, called, as you might expect, Tobermory.

It's actually not quite as simple as that, because the old 40% brew in the green flasky bottles was always subject to mixed reviews. The recent revamp has seen the strength increased to 46.3% and a bit of a styling rethink as well. Now I should point out that I've never tried the old dumpy green version, so I've got no frame of reference for comparisons; I'll just have to go with what I've got.

The Ledaig is the peated expression, whereas this is unpeated, so you know (broadly at least) what to expect. Sure enough there's very little peat or smoke when you have a sniff; that 46.3% does give you quite a hot whack of raw spirit up the nose though. It's less aggressive than that when you drink it, though, and it does have (smoke aside) some of the same characteristics as the Ledaig, most notably a sort of salty/vegetably thing - like, say, cauliflower cheese with anchovies in it, or marmite-smeared parsnips.

Unpeated malts have to try harder to be interesting, I reckon, because you can't just mask uninteresting spirit by giving the drinker a bit peaty knee in the balls until his eyes water; in that context this is excellent stuff, sweet and approachable but with some hidden depths that encourage a repeat visit. I like it.

No comments: