Two Tormore 1995 bottlings from the French bottler Le Gus’t (Cave Conseil). Looking at the colour, they are quite different.
I don’t have a lot of experience with Tormore from this era, but boy, what a pleasant surprise this was!
Tormore 24 yo 1995 (45,4%, Le Gus’t ‘Selection XX’ 2019, butt, 398 btl.)
Nose: starts in an old school waxy way, with hints of sunflower oil, engine oil and paraffin. Burlap. Quite mineral, but there’s citrus and yellow apple around the corner. Apricot pie. Minty notes.
Mouth: fresh fruity notes like yellow plums, peaches, oranges and a hint of banana. Mentholated notes, drizzles of herbal honey and hints of pine wood. Maybe a few raisins. Again a waxy side. Very subtle zesty bitterness (grapefruit) towards the end.
Finish: long, citrusy and totally fresh.
An old Manzanilla butt, perhaps? Great combination of fruitiness, minty freshness and this old-school je-ne-sais-quoi. Heaps of character: great selection. Around € 125 from Le Gus’t in France.
Tormore 24 yo 1995
(55,8%, Le Gus’t ‘Selection XXII’ 2019, hogshead #20046, 71 btl.)
Nose: lots of cedar oak or polished Ipe, a rather exotic style of woodiness that you usually only find in much older whisky. A little brown sugar and mint. Broken branches. Butter rolls. Dusty malt. After a lot of airing it gradually becomes more fruity, slightly tropical even. Charred pineapple maybe. Minty notes as well. Too bad the fruits never manage to come out of the oaky shade entirely.
Mouth: much more powerful than the other bottling. Starts on spicy oak, biscuits, herbal tea and cocoa. Then it bursts into tropical fruits, definitely pineapple now, as well as pink grapefruits and papaya. Quite wonderful. Great mentholated notes (sometimes a sign of light peatiness).
Finish: long, on citrus, old wood and charred pineapple.
Woodiness can be a huge asset in my opinion, especially if it’s not the straightforward plankish kind. Excellent whisky, especially with the lovely fruity palate. Around € 150 from Le Gus’t in France.