Reviews of affordable whiskies with some entertaining tales along the way…
I’m devoting this week to tasting my way through some samples I received from the fine folks at Lady of the Glen, one of the most consistent independent bottlers currently operating in Scotland. In this third part, I’ll be getting to grips with a single malt from Tormore Distillery in Speyside.
Tormore is relatively young by Scotch whisky standards, having been established on the banks of the Spey in the late 1950s. In recent times it has seen a change in ownership, having been taken over by Elixir Distillers. It seems likely that single malt lovers will become more familiar with this spirit in years to come but in the meantime, independent releases give us the chance to sample what it has to offer.
This whisky was distilled in 2011 and bottled in February 2023. Originally, it was aged in a hogshead, before being transferred to a sauternes* barrique for a six-month finishing period. The malt is bottled at 55.1%.
*Sauternes is a sweet French wine from Bordeaux. It’s made from grapes that have become affected by a condition known as “noble rot”. The condition occurs when Botrytis cinerea fungus causes the grapes to become partially raisined, concentrating the sugars and creating distinctive flavours in the resultant wine.
For part one of this series visit here
For part two of this series visit here
Lady of the Glen Tormore 12-year-old
*Full disclosure: the sample featured in this article was sent to me free of charge. As always, I will strive to give an honest opinion on the quality of the dram and the value for money it represents.
Smell: A lot of spices on the nose. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves… There’s also pineapple, grapefruit and lemon juice. A little bit of freshly cut oak, sawdust included. Toffee biscuits. Water released some lighter, Speyside orchard fruits.
Taste: A little dry and astringent at first. The spirit itself is light in body but there’s certainly some flavour there. The Sauternes makes its presence felt with some tropical fruit and grape notes before making way to some dry, woody spice and black pepper before the fruits return at the finish.
Thoughts: The wine cask works well with the fruity Speyside spirit. Nevertheless, there was something about this one that didn’t quite hit the spot for me. Maybe it’s the lighter body or the dryness that comes with it but it doesn’t excite my taste buds in the way I’d hoped. It’s still a decent dram of course – any complaints I have are a matter of personal taste as opposed to a lack of quality – and perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the excellence of the two previous bottles in this series. As always, Lady of the Glen deserves credit for maintaining standards and being creative – I can’t recall seeing another Tormore finished in Sauternes – even if this one didn’t nail it for me.
Price: £80. Doesn’t seem outrageously priced although it wouldn’t be for me. Those who enjoy light Speyside malts and fancy an alternative take on the style may find something to enjoy here.
For more information on Lady of the Glen visit: https://www.ladyoftheglen.com/