Blue 42 so Tobermory, not Ledaig. Drawn from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Toffee sweetness collides with damp soils, forest mosses and a vegetarian Sunday roast (all potatoes and parsnips). Overt barley pushes though – germinating malting floors and whirring mills dusted in separated flour. In the background things are viney – hedgerows and bracken which chocolate covered wafer biscuits provide just the right amount of sweetness. Dilution unlocks a hidden coastal aspect with rock pools, hewn cliffs and graphite alongside a touch of machine oil and engine grease.
Taste: Earthiness up first – mushrooms, ferns and leaf mulch. Then green apples, melon and gooseberries – brighter, sweeter. The mid-palate moves back towards chocolate with digestive biscuits before the spices kick in – nutmeg and ginger – with a background industrial edge of cog lubricant. Water once again exposes the minerality of the underlying spirit – beach pebbles, clay and gravel with a tart pang of grapefruit juice.
Finish: Medium with pan oils, salinity and white pepper.
Shapeshifting, thought-provoking and somewhat unlikely. This Tobermory offers two-sides of a coin, with water being the catalyst for change. Despite usually preferring my 42’s in the green flavour profile, this non-peated edition ticks a lot of boxes – well-composed, alluvial and industrial at heart with a yearning for experimentation with dilution. Captivating and highly recommended.