Tullibardine 20 years (blind)

"A very balanced and well composed whisky from a distillery that had never tasted before today, and I will try more of them"

(Picture from Whiskybase)

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Another day, another chance! The colour of the contents of my glass today is golden with a hint towards caramel. I was very curious to which region our blind journey is takings us today. It was a distillery that I heard about, but never tasted, which always makes  it an interesting experience. Tullibardine is located in Blackford in the Highlands, and particularly known for its Sauterness, Burgundy and Sherry finished (NAS) bottlings, however they have also 20- and 25-year-old whiskies in their standard range.

Nose

Ooh the starts is beautiful! Layers of chewy fruitiness, caramel-like sweetness with a citrussy fresh background. Juicy oranges, pear juice, muscovado sugar, a couple of raisins and freshly baked sponge cake. Hints of tropical fruits form the next layer, changing into lemon curd and orange cake. I would say it is very civilised, no vile edges, and well composed. On the other hand, I don’t think that this is really for those who prefer more chiseled, distinctively tasting whiskies. For those people it is probably too smooth. I quite like though, this well composed and balanced whisky.

Taste

Fruity mud (what?), a few tropical fruits in the background (peaches, pineapple, mango and even a hint of banana), marshmallows and sweets, herbs. What I really like is that everything is perfectly in balance. Each sip begins slightly bitter, turning into minty herbs and honey drizzled cake and then a (slightly distant, but) complete fruitbasket. The finish is much sweeter hinting at a basket of orange candies, marshmallows and green tea. Probably not too long, but very pleasant.

Overall

Again a very difficult one to judge, because I had (rightfully) the idea that I have never tasted this distillery. No idea about the region too, so I went for Arran. Wrong, obviously, but it was a good first encounter with Tullibardine. I really liked the balance and smoothness of this one, without it becoming utterly boring. As I wrote before, I can imagine that those who fancy the rough edges or an outspoken taste in a whisky would like this Tullibardine not that much. But for this price, I think it would be a good choice for those who want to try a good aged whisky matured in bourbon casks.

What others thought

Competition day #5

Tullibardine 20 years

Whiskybase: 83.35 (86 votes) Contestants: 7.3/10
Read for yourself

This samples was part of the

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
60%
Peat/smoke
0.5%
Nose 86%
Taste 87%
Balance 87%
Depth 85%
Finish 85%
Score