Tobermory 1972-2005, 32 years old, Oloroso sherry cask finish, 49.5%

Somehow, it seems to be a legendary year for many a distillery. 1972. GlenDronach, Caperdonich, but also Ledaig and Tobermory. Ledaig 1972 is one of the ‘argument’ whiskies people mention when I state I generally don’t like Ledaig. I’ve never had one and when in said argument I ask people to put their money where their mouth is they generally back down.

Anyway, I tried this Tobermory at MZ’s place a while ago and since I was just enjoying whisky and not necessarily reviewing things I asked for a sample for review in our two sample traffic. He was kind enough to give me a quite sizable dram.

Yesterday I felt it was time for a nip. And after a nip I decided to have every drop I had since it’s awesome.

Image from Whiskybase

Image from Whiskybase

Very old fashioned, heavy and leathery sherry. Lots of old fruits, the stuff that’s been on the kitchen counter too long, but also dried and candied fruits. Ever so slightly salty and a tiny bit of peat as well, I think. Some resin and pine scents too.

The palate is dry and slightly peppery (red hot chili peppers). Leather and furniture polish. Old Chesterfield chairs. Lots of old oak. Dates and plums, thick and sweet sherry. Resin. There’s a LOT going on. Maybe a hint of licorice in the back?

Dry, leather, old oak, old sherry. Dates too, and slightly bitter.

Well. Damn. This is a great, great dram. I can see where it gets its reputation from and it is well earned. With the quality and depth of the sherry going on it reminds me of that Karuizawa 1964 I had a few years ago. It’s not entirely similar, of course, but there are some flavors that are the same. The combination of sherry and pine works very well for me.

I didn’t really know it was a finish until I just checked. I’m surprised by that since the sherry has a lot of depth and it sure has that old fashioned quality to it that I always attributed to sherry casks from the seventies. Of course, it doesn’t say how long it’s been finished.

This is another of those great drams that everyone should taste once in their lives I think. Especially since it has such a reputation among whisky lovers. Maybe a bit like Bunnahabhain Old Acquaintance, and Lagavulin 21.

It also makes me want to taste old Oloroso sherry. Or old sherry in general, except maybe PX.

So, if you happen to be at some festival and find this, and a dram fits your wallet, I highly recommend trying this. They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Tobermory 1972-2005, 32 years old, Oloroso sherry cask finish, 49.5%. According to Whiskybase it’s worth some € 430 now.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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