Torabhaig Legacy Series 2017 is a new arrival to the peated single malt market, bottled at 46% ABV.
This limited release consists of 100 barrels distilled in the first few months of operations.
The Distillery at Torabhaig is on the Isle of Skye, built in the old farmstead at Torabhaig. After a four-year restoration, the 19th-century building has been fully restored to hold the copper stills and traditional wooden washbacks that produce the whisky. Torabhaig has been a fully operational single malt Scotch whisky distillery since January 2017.
Concerto, a variety of Scottish 2-row spring barley, is steeped in water to allow it to germinate and begin converting the starch in the grain to fermentable sugars. The grain is then dried in a kiln over peat smoke to give the whisky a characteristic smoky, coastal flavor, the company reports. The malted barley is ground into grist, which must have just the right texture before it’s mixed with hot water in the mash, resulting in sweet liquid, called wort. The sweet wort is pumped into the traditional wooden washbacks, where — after adding yeast — the sugars ferment over several days to result in a flavorful beer, or wash, at 8% alcohol.
Distillation happens in two stages. First, the wash still is filled with the 8% wash, producing a distillate of 26% alcohol. Next, the thinner spirit still is charged with the low wines, to eventually produce the new make spirit at 69%. The water-clear new make spirit is filled into first-fill bourbon whisky casks, shipped in from a distillery in Kentucky.
The end result is flavors of coastal peat with notes of vanilla and a briny sweetness on the palate, the company reports, before a finish of light char with wood smoke and seaside saltiness.
Torabhaig Legacy Series 2017 is 40% ABV, and retails for a suggested price of $59 per 750-ml. bottle.