Whisky Odyssey
Old-fashioned with a twist of the modern 

Torabhaig Cnoc na Moine: a sweet lining

Torabhaig is one of those new kids on the block who shake up the foundations of Scotch whisky. Creating quality output at a very young age, having an own sense of mind about doing things, which results in characterful and authentic single malt whisky. From the Isle of Skye, I add, making Talisker not the only name to reckon with out there. The last time I tried a Torabhaig, it was their high strength Allt Glean expression. We will taste that again too today, but we kick off with a new release, the Cnoc na Moine.

Torabhaig Cnoc na Moine, bottled at 46 % abv

Makeup: The first time a broad audience can taste Torabhaig with some other cask influence than just the plain used bourbons. In this batch, which is called Chapter 3 of The Legacy Series, you'll also find oloroso and PX in the mix. Bottled in January 2024.

General impressions: A hit of very clean and fruity peat smoke in the nose. Really feels extremely balanced, and the 46 % works just fine for me. Farmland in summer, bonfire on the beach, just a fuming sensation.

The mouthfeel is really fierce. Such a rough experience. I was going to write the taste is like biting in my leather wallet, like my whisky budget likes to do so often. But upon consideration, it feels more like when my wife ties me to the bed with cow leather wristbands. All jokes, of course, but joking aside: this does bring a very leathery feel to the tongue, dry, with hints of dark chocolate and coffee gone cold in the cup. Delicious seductive sweet finish, warming you on the way out.

Conclusion: The main attraction is the aroma of this Island whisky. Really rich and mellow, despite there being a big dose of peat. It is subdued, subtle even. The taste I prefer more naked, like the previous editions of the Legacy Series, but it is interesting to get a new perspective. So, in the end, a highly recommendable whisky!

Score: 86 points

Disclaimer: taken from a sample acquired via Whiskysite.nl.

Torabhaig Allt Glean Batch Strength, bottled at 61,1 % abv

Makeup: Matured in First-Fill Bourbon casks and Refill Barrels. Part of the Legacy Series, at one point said to conclude that series, but then the Cnoc na Moine came out, so I am confused. Did they mean the “bourbon matured part of the Legacy Series?” Contact me if you know.

General impressions: Returning to this one after opening the bottle a few months ago. The peat is strong in this one but oxygen did mellow it a bit. I am reminded of some of the better Octomore or the more extreme Ardbeg. But there is also a distinct and authentically own character. Truly amazing how well this goes done without a drop of water. A mellow and restraint aroma of smoke, lemons, grain and sweet flowerbeds. 

This could be a fresh summer dram. The taste is straightforward peated malt whisky in the best sense. Loads of lemons, soft grainy notes and a nice touch of vanilla. The finish lingers with a clean afterglow. We did add some water, but the whisky more or less performs the same. Excellent swimmer.

Conclusion: Really without flaw. I would love for these kinds of bottlings to be the future of whisky. No silly stories but strong spirit in decent casks, to show the true and unparalleled potential of (peated) Scotch whisky. You can buy it and drink it neat all the way, but value for money is great since you can easily add a good splash of water and get even more delight from the one bottle.

Score: 88 points

Disclaimer: taken from a self-owned bottle.

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