About the Distillery
We’ve got an absolute beast of a bourbon aged Speyside whisky ready for May. This month we are featuring a Tormore 13yo as our ‘Malt of the Month’.
Tormore is a Speyside distillery, which is located approximately 1 km south of the River Spey. Its water source is the Achvochkie Burn. The Tormore is one of the younger Scottish whiskies, the distillery construction began in 1958 and was completed in 1960. It was the first new distillery to be built in the country in the 20th century. Designed by Sir Albert Richardson for Long John International, it is a listed building, and one of the most architecturally striking distilleries. The building is made of granite, has copper rotors and a clock which plays 4 different Scottish songs each quarter of an hour. A village of workers houses were built in the same style, which was up for sale in its entirety in 2004, for offers over £550,000. The topiary hedges in the garden are also clipped to the shape of a bell or still.
In 1972, the distillery was expanded from four to eight stills. These were converted to be heated by wood chips in 1984, a by-product of the area’s forestry industry. Long John was absorbed by Whitbread & Co in 1975, and the distillery was acquired by Allied Distillers Ltd the same year. The Tormore distillery has been controlled by Pernod-Ricard since they purchased Allied Domecq in 2005. A time capsule in the shape of a pot-still is buried in the forecourt, which is intended to be opened in 2060. It contains glasses and a tregnum of Long John, the original owners’ own blended whisky. Sadly, the bulk of whisky produced by Tormore is used in blending Chivas Regal these days.
This months whisky is distilled by the Tormore distillery, but has been oaked and aged by our old friends at Gordon and MacPhail. This is a 13yo spirit aged in first fill bourbon casks. The casks have been selected for blending based on the desire to highlight the ‘typical’ fruity, vanilla, dry qualities that could be said to define a ‘Bourbon aged whisky’.
Tormore 13yo - our thoughts
The Tormore 13yo is one of Gordon and MacPhail’s brand new ‘Discovery’ range. Each expression in this range is aged to highlight a particular flavour profile – Sherry, Smokey or Bourbon. This months malt pays homage to ‘Bourbon’ with an 13yo year old non-peated spirit from Speyside distillery Tormore.
The Nose is instantly all you would expect from American oak. A big vanilla cloud enveloping a cornucopia of summer fruit. There’s citrus, melon, pineapple, a merange type sweetness and is that coconut-rough in there too?
On the palate it’s a very light and crisp mouthfeel with no oilyness. Apricot, apple pie, milk arrowroot biscuit with honey, citrus zest and, of course, vanilla. Some chocolate and oakey undertones as well.
And the finish is quite dry, leaving the mouth feeling clean with just a pleasant amount of heat to see it out.
All in all it does exactly what it sets out to do – give a textbook example of American oak aged whisky. No surprises. Exactly what it says on the bottle. If you like a bourbon aged whisky – you’ll like this whisky.
Bottlers Tasting Notes
Colour: Palest Gold
Aroma: Fruity and lively: abundant tropical fruit notes of pineapple, grapefruit, coconut, and freshly squeezed lime weave with hints of freshly cut grass and toasted malt.
Taste: Creamy, the sweetness of the vanilla, velvety milk chocolate, and baked apple are perfectly balanced by zesty citrus peel. Undertones of plump apricot and juicy mango develop.
Finish: Delightfully delicate with gentle lingering herbal tones finish with nuances of charred oak.