Torabhaig is the latest distillery on the Isle of Skye, causing Talisker to review its labels because they claimed to be the only distillery on the island. The distillery is in a meticiously restored farm. It is owned by Mossburn (also independent bottlers) and their first spirit came off the stills in 2017.
The whisky in this inaugural release is made with Concerto barley, peated to around 55 ppm, aged in first-fill bourbon barrels and bottled at 46% ABV. Sold out in a split second, after all it was reasonably priced too.
Torabhaig 3 yo 2017 (46%, OB 2020, Inaugural release, 32000 btl.)
Nose: oily, with an industrial touch and plenty of coastal notes. Iodine-laden smoke, wet pebblestones and hints of hessian ropes. Quite youthful though, showing a lot of plain barley and a bit of green banana. Herbal notes in the background (eucalyptus and bayleaf).
Mouth: a fairly oily texture but a bit on the thin side, with briney notes up front, quickly overtaken by “young” fruits (pear eau-de-vie and lemons) with some icing sugar, a hint of gentian and juniper, as well as generous earthy smoke. Slightly floral herbs and a metallic tingle.
Finish: medium, with a herbal sharpness, salt and white pepper.
A nice debut: young of course, but with merits and confidence for the future. A similar maritime character as Talisker indeed. Around € 60 although some retailers lost their decency by selling their limited stocks at two or three times that price.