Single Malt Connoisseurs Club
ABOUT OUR SINGLE MALT SCOTCH CLUBS
Members of our buyers' club share an enthusiasm for the malt elixir in the most practical way, by saving time and money. No initiation or fees of any sort are charged. We simply ask that you undertake to remain in the club for the period of one year. As a club member you will receive a carefully selected, often unique bottling, complete with background information, shipped directly to your home or office every other month. The first club, the Single Malt Connoisseurs' Club, has a limit of $94.99, per shipment usually less, on the cost of the bottle itself. (Does not include tax and or shipping)
In May 2015 our members received:
Tobermory 19 year Alexander Murray
This month’s club comes from the last remaining distillery on the Isle of Mull to the north of Islay and Jura. Now, even though it is the last remaining distillery, it goes by two names; one name is historical and represents their peated offerings while the other represents their modern expression in homage to the town they call home. The distillery name for those who haven’t reached for their mobile is Tobermory; one of the oldest commercial distilleries in Scotland. To tell the history of the distillery, it is best to begin with the history of the town (burgh) of Tobermory. At around the same time as their compatriots were plundering the world for Queen and Country, some English eyes turned to the North. Scotland was newly depeopled after the Highland Clearances and by the late 1700s open for repopulation. Tobermory was founded as a fishing port in 1788 by the British Fisheries Society and laid out by the great Scottish engineer Thomas Telford, known in his day as the Colossus of Roads. Less than a decade after the founding of the burgh, a local kelp merchant by the name of John Sinclair applied to open a distillery.
In 1797 when John Sinclair initially applied to open a distillery, Great Britain was engaged in its third year of War with France, as much of an English pastime as Rugby. As there was a ban on distilling to save grain for the populace and the army, his plan was rejected. The authorities told him he could build a brewery, but John waited a year and was granted the right to build a distillery in 1798, which he named Ledaig. John built the buildings that exist to this day and began making distillate. Whisky production continued for the next 39 years before going into an extended period of closure. In 1878 Tobermory/ Ledaig was reopened and produced whiskey through the first great Scotch whisky bubble, and for a handful of owners until it was shut down again in 1930. During its next four decades of closure, the buildings of Tobermory were used to house soldiers during World War II and as a power station for the island. Tobermory’s third act in it’s life occurred in 1972 when it was reopened in fits and starts through the 1970s and 1980s. It was during this time that the warehouses for aging whisky were converted to apartments for the only town on the island, so the distillate of Tobermory/ Ledaig began to be transported for aging at Deanston and Bunnahabain. This Byzantine history has been somewhat stabilized in the last 20 years with a new whisky maker of note.
Ian MacMillan can speak to 40 years in the Scotch Whisky industry, of which the last 22 years have been at the helm of Tobermory/ Ledaig. Using malted barleys from Port Ellen in the Southeast of Islay, Ian and his team craft two distinct styles of whisky. Tobermory today is used to describe the unpeated offerings while the original distillery name, Ledaig, is used for their peated offerings. The nose of this 19 year old Tobermory has a distinct saline note that harkens to it’s origin as a island Scotch. The nose shows additional notes of malted chocolate, honey, and a clean cereal note. The palate shows clean chocolate malt notes with caramel, low peat and a orange peel note on the finish.