"The interplay between the different elements is beautiful and develops into an enticing dram with provides a great experience with distillery character"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
Tullibardine is not a distillery that you find that often in collections of whisky enthusiasts. Located in Blackford, Pertshire, in the Highlands, the distillary was founded in 1947 after rebuilding a former brewery. Taken over in 1993 by White & MacKay, it was mothballed in 1995 and sold to a consortium and restarted in 2003. In 2011, Picard Vins & Spiritueux bought the distillery, which has previously bought the Higland Queen brand from Glenmorangie in 2008. It is probably not surprising then that many of Tullibardine’s expressions have some sort of wine finish. Today not, since we will have a taste of an independently bottled version from the Malts of Scotland distilled in 1980 that has seen a sherry hogshead for over 30 years.
The take-off is strong and reasonably alcoholic. Some cherry wood, old wood in an antique shop, some varnish. In fact, it reminds me of a reasonably aged armagnac. Quite austere without any fruits or freshness. Well, maybe very faintly some cherries in the background, and dried peaches. This might need some time and water. Indeed, with water it has softened into a more complex variety of woods, spices and dusty dried fruits, plus one lost strawberry. A nice balance appears, and it becomes better and better. More fruits, in particular dried cherries, apricots, sweets, cakes, and frostings. A beautiful interplay between sherry and wood, with a mix of sweet, spicy and slightly sour.
Strong and tannic on the tongue at first. In fact, very tannic, with lots and lots of extracted wood and wood spices. Water please! Yes, much better, this really opens up with many different spices, all kinds of peppers, paprika powder, koriander, curry powder and curcuma. Also dried fruits like raisins, figs, plums, peaches and pineapples. A long and dry aftertaste with fresh blueberries, cake crust, caraway, fresh mint, cardamon, and slight dusty.
I must admit, I was a slightly afraid after the first sip that this would be all about the wood. It is not, luckily, but it needs water. The interplay between the different elements is beautiful and develops into an enticing dram. Great experience and I think in between the woods there is something recognisable from the distillery.
Big thanks to for sharing the sample!
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •