Today a discontinued official bottling from a massive distillery in Speyside. The pearl of Speyside if you please.

I have been getting all ranty recently about the ever increasing price of whisky. There just seems to be the never ending price rises just now but do you need to spend that kind of money to get quality? I strongly don’t think so and today we go back to a very cheap and quite unusual ex-bourbon matured whisky with an age statement but from the owners of the distillery.

The Distillery

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Tormore distillery is known as the “Pearl of Speyside” this powerhouse distillery is not open to the public and is mostly used for blending by owners Chivas.

Located in the village of Tormore the distillery has its own website which shows two official expressions which were released in 2014. The 14 and 16 year old whiskies were high ABV bottles and seemed to be well received. While the website is still live it doesn’t look to have been updated and bottled are marked as discontinued on online retailers websites.

Using 11 steel washbacks and 8 copper stills Tormore produces up to 5 million litres of alcohol each year. This spirit is used as top dressing in blends like Ballantines or sold to independent companies like Gordon & Macphail.

The Dram

This official bottle hasn’t been available for 6 or 8 years so I guess this is less about cheaper whiskies today and more about cheaper whiskies in the past were better propositions than pricier bottles today. The art of hunting out dusty bottles on forgotten shelves is where gold can be found still so get your skills sharpened for when we get out to play again.

On the face of it it’s hard to see what quality the whisky is. It’s 40% ABV, coloured, filtered and packaged like something from the 1980’s rather than being released in 2004. There has been little to no effort in the marketing and packaging nor the presentation.

Bottles can be picked up cheaply with £20 achievable at auction which is easily blended whisky country. It would be hard to say its poor value at that unless it’s rancid.

Tasting Notes

Colour – orange colouring

Nose – grassy and light with quite a lot of sweet wood sugars

Palate – more grapefruit than sweet on the palate though. Some honey and vanilla. Cereals as it develops

Finish – drying and woody but not wooden. almost acidic but not harsh

Final Thoughts

Some whiskies you build up in your mind to be something they are not. Others you expect nothing from but give you what you didn’t expect. This is the later and one to look out for as a cheapy treat at auction.

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