Tobermory 1994 28 Year Old RMW Cask #381018 & Bunnahabhain 1999 23 Year Old RMW Cask #4099


Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh have begun to bottle casks under their own label again, so we're checking out a few bottlings from their new release.

    Tobermory 1994 28 Year Old RMW Cask #381018

    Region: Highlands

    ABV: 50.8%

    Price: £225.00

    This release was filled into a sherry butt at the Mull distillery, Tobermory, on the 22nd of July 1994, and left to slumber until May 2023.

    Nose

    The nose opens with nutty sherry, rancio, jamon iberico, balsamic vinegar, fresh prunes, and a hint of cinnamon. All of the dry sherry notes you’d expect. Behind the sherry sits stroopwaffles, sour cola bottles and lime cordial. The alcohol feels nicely balanced here.

    Palate

    The palate gives us some upfront spice, orange peel (and pith), dark cooking chocolate, clove, cassia bark and ginger spice. It’s got great alcohol integration, there’s just enough warmth coming through to keep it interesting. The dram has a good mouthfeel and good length finish with caramel shortcake and worn leather. Time and air reveals some tobacco and honey roast ham with a smattering of Dijon mustard.

    Nose (with water)

    Reduction brings out a bit of treacle sweetness on the nose, toffee, along with a hint of citrus spreading too. There’s still a bit of rancio and cured meat here.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate has more sherried sweetness, but the spice has increased a bit too. Lots of treacle, caramel, candied almonds, ground ginger and pickled walnuts.

    Conclusion

    Old school sherry. Nutty, meaty on the nose, with spice and dark sugars coming through on the palate. It’s perhaps a touch dry for our tastes, but it’s also not the driest sherried dram we have had. Your grandmother would love this. If you like your drier, nuttier sherried drams then add half a point to our score.

    Score: 7.5/10

    Value

    Not bad for an older whisky these days.

    Bunnahabhain 1999 23 Year Old RMW Cask #4099

    Region: Islay

    ABV: 43.3%

    Price: £184.95

    This release filled into a hogshead on the 28th of December 1999, and left to slumber until May 2023.

    Nose

    We’re met with icing sugar, candy floss, just-baked apple pie, lemon cheesecake, strawberry laces, mango and something a little briney, tuna brine perhaps? It’s a nice mixture of coastal and sweeter aromas that work nicely together. Time and air brings out a bit of wet cardboard and charred staves. The alcohol seems well integrated into the nose.

    Palate

    The palate opens with sweet lemon curd, icing sugar, cream soda, tart cases, Delmonte pineapple juice, butter shortcrust pastry and porridge oats. The mouthfeel is good, even at 43%, with a medium length finish showing vanilla ice cream and fudge. It’s well balanced, sweet and creamy.

    Nose (with water)

    With water, the nose becomes even sweeter, like we’ve added a teaspoon of sugar. There’s less upfront citrus, but more caramel and fudge. Like a flatter cream soda with a few musty warehouse aromas and wafer cones.

    Palate (with water)

    The reduced palate has richer caramel, brown sugar, gingerbread, a little bit of milk chocolate. The palate has lost a wee bit of texture, but the finish stays a good length with a bit more ginger spice. We think the palate is a bit more interesting with a splash of water.

    Conclusion

    This would be the perfect dram to kick off a whisky tasting, it’s light, sweet and a good introduction to the evening. It’s a touch simple, one note, but still it’s pretty tasty. A good example of a refill cask left for long enough.

    Score: 7.5/10

    Value

    We are sad to say that this is probably good value for a 23yo Islay, even if it is unpeated.

    • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
    • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
    • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
    • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
    • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
    • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
    • 4 - Below average. Passable.
    • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
    • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
    • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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