The Inaugural release
Smoke & Brine
Abv. 43% vol
Nose: It is clear from the start why this release was named Smoke & Brine. Those are the two first elements that are crawling up my nose. The first thing I can find behind the smoke is rhubarb and that confuses me a lot. Can't find it again, so not sure what it was, but it was there for a short moment. Now it's more like ripe and sweet citric fruits and vanilla that can be found on the nose after the first taste.
Taste: Sweet and easy smoke covered caramel and surprisingly mellow. The whole whisky is balanced and beautiful. The smoke isn't aggressive at all, everything is creamy and soft, but still wrapped in the smoke. It's like drinking liquid version of smoked vanilla-banana tart. There's some bitter notes that are trying to surface, would describe it as scorched oak, but it's quite nicely integrated to the taste and works with the whole package.
After: Strong ash and smoke bounces up and goes over everything (this is surprisingly common for me with peated whiskies). It's almost like licking a fireplace ashes (but in a good way :D). That's also the essence of the after taste for me. The after taste is quite long which is a nice surprise as it isn't usually the case with young whiskies. The oak once again comes at the very end and it's bringin up the bitter notes with it.
Overall this is quite mature for its age and a very good performance from the Torabhaig. This first release got me into this distillery and the magical element is still there. If this is the performance when this is just a bit over three years old we can only guess what it will be in the future. I would guess there's good things coming.