This month we feature Tormore 1996 from Independent bottlers – Gordan and MacPhail.
Tormore is a Speyside single malt Scotch whisky, distilled by the Tormore 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 area’s forestry. 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.
This Tormore 1996 has a really gristy smell, and my that I mean it is the smell that strikes you when you walk into the gristing hall in the distillery. This is where the barley grains are ground up.
Other flavours that come through are marmalade, some Christmas pudding and barley sugar. It has tremendous length, with the flavour hovering in the mouth for an eternity, tempting you to take just one more sip, just one more, just one…
There is the faintest touch of peat smoke and some lavender oil.
The use of purifiers on the wash still take away some of the heavier flavours that were so prominent in the Campbeltown whisky, making this a light elegant, beautifully bright, fresh whisky. It is reminiscent of the Irish style.