Tobermory 21 (Cadenhead Small Batch 1995/2016) Review

This is a 21 year Tobermory that was matured in a sherry butt and bottled at 55.8% ABV.

Nose: Honeycomb, bright sherry with maraschino cherries, bee balm, and a bit of eucalyptus. Some briny notes tucked in there amongst old leather.

Palate: Leathery and quite peppery up front with rich oak and figs developing on the mid palate. Mulling spices lend to a fairly hot profile given its ABV. Black tea and cocoa nibs introduce a hint of bitterness.

Finish: Leathery notes linger with vanilla and candied oranges as it turns quite tannic.

Rating: 85/100

Value for the money : I think this retailed originally around €90 or so, and I think that’s a pretty decent price if slightly high.

Highland Park 28 (Cadenhead Small Batch 1988/2016) Review

This is a 28 year sherried Highland Park bottled by Cadenhead at 55.5% ABV.

Nose: Whoa – super meaty, intense sherry fills the nose with a sulphury oak sweeping in behind. Musty cardboard, apple butter, and plum jam develops, but the sherry and oak really dominate here.

Palate: Intensely sweet up front with a very viscous mouthfeel that really coats the palate. Powerful oak develops quickly full of tannins and pepper. Sherry is very intense with some more sulphur notes lingering in background.

Finish: The finish is a bit of a letdown as the oak becomes overbearing feeling as if I had just sucked on some wood chips. Sulphur from the cask also stands out here stronger as the sherry notes begin to fade.

Rating: 84/100 – I wanted to love this one, but the oak was a bit too overbearing and the sulphur notes were a distraction. The sherry is so intense though which really helps mask some of those things on the nose/palate.

Value for the money: I was going to buy one of these from K&L at their current price of $309, but was lucky to find a sample split first. I will pass now, but overall that is a pretty fair price for a 28 year Highland Park in my book. If you’re less sensitive to sulphur notes, then this would make a great buy I think.