Thanks to /u/Davyj0ne5 for the swap.
Talking about Tobermory is like talking about the most toxic relationship I ever was in.
You see, as an adult, I no longer can just look at it without nuance. Yes, there was mental abuse. Yes, I lashed out in horrible, misogynistic ways that, while true, also don’t help. No, they aren’t a complete monster that isn’t worth sympathy, but they don’t deserve my sympathy. If I’m to be a better person, I need to let part of it go, see things differently, forgive myself and them for making mistakes as teens, and generally stop blaming. It happened.
And that’s just Tobermory.
Dark non-humour aside, Tobermory and I had a similar rough problem. When I first tried this whisky, as the OB, I panned it. Was I in a perfect reviewing situation? Heck no, and that left me open to criticism, which I (rightly) deserved. When I looked back at it in a better situation, I was hurt by it again. Not as badly. Maybe just out some time and a bit of my liver. However, I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me.
Since then I’ve decided to mature a bit. Not just in not writing overly crude jokes that some construe as childish and damaging, but also in trying more from the distillery. Don’t let one bad egg ruin the dozen, as it were.
Then I had some I enjoyed. Granted they were single casks selected carefully, but none the less I wasn’t out of options.
Thus with surprise, I reviewed Tobermory 21 1995 Berry Bros. & Rudd.
We all need to heal in our own ways. The internet can help or hinder, as there’s an outpouring of support for issues that are a million times worse than what I experienced (both with the whisky and the other) and also snapshots of anger that can be taken the wrong way.
You can still find my old review and my rants about Tobermory. You can also see how much I enjoy Ledaig, their peated offering. You can see the cringe-inducing wrong comments I’ve written as well. In some cases, I was raw, emotional, or just annoying. I’m not going to hide that.
What I am going to do is review Tobermory 21 1995 Berry Bros. & Rudd to continue to learn more about this distillery. I can’t take back the maligned aspect against the 10, nor will I review it again or delete those thoughts. I’ll see if there’s something positive I can find instead.
Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Drawn from Cask No 594
Years Aging 21
Bottled in 2017
Year of Distillation: 1995
Colour: 10Y 9/4
Nose: Funk! ahem…. banana, orange juice, ginger, floral
Wow that’s a lot of funk. Think making your own kombucha, not showing for a few days, and maybe entering a sweat lodge, all in a gym locker room.
Now I like funk. The music and the smell. Blue cheese is my jam. Sometimes literally. This may be a bit much.
Time luckily balances this one out. It goes very floral and fruity, unsurprisingly.
Taste: Grass, anise, caramel, ginger ale, algae
Opposite direction this time. Whereas before we had heavy flavour up front followed by light, this time we have grass and anise, both light, going into richer, and then vegetal/funky flavours, and ending in algae.
Think of swimming in a lake and getting some in your mouth.
Finish: Bread pudding, funk, ginger tea, orange
Fun! More funk!
Creamy, banana, and ginger tannic. It’s not going out too much, but it certainly is bringing the funk.
Conclusion: Funky dram. Probably a good entry level on how funk works. Actually, I’d pour this to see if people like funk or not because even if they don’t they’ll still finish a dram.
No, this isn’t going too far in any direction. It’s ginger tea with bread pudding on a hot summer’s day in a field. That’s not a memory, as I a) didn’t grow up rich in a Dicken’s novel and b) never experienced it. Those are just the flavours.
I enjoyed this. If you like funk as much as me or love the funk on the ten, then add 3 points to this one. Easily.
Here’s to bettering ourselves and leaving the past in the past. Don’t let it make you a worse person or miss out on interesting times.
Scotch review #942, Island review #104, Whisky Network review #1495