Tullibardine

   

Tullibardine distillery is located in the Highland town of Blackford, Perthshire and was founded in 1949 by the Architect Delmι Evans.

1971 Saw it acquired by Invergordon Distillers who extended it in 1973 by adding a second pair of stills.

Whyte & Mackay took over Invergordon in 1993 but mothballed Tullibardine in 1995.

 
 

A new company; Tullibardine Distillery Ltd was formed and bought the distillery in 2003, returning it to independent operation.

 

More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness

My thanks to Teun van Wel for permission to copy and use the distillery photos

 

General whisky characteristics: Light, floral, fruity, often dry and slightly bitter

 

 

 

   

Tullibardine, Pure Pot Spirit, 69% ABV

New Make from Tullibardine

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Clear, like water.

Nose: Grain (corn), cherry and lots of pear.

Palate: Initially big on grain but then turning very fruity with cherry and pear into the finish.

With 4 drops of water: More pear on the nose but a little more grain, perhaps even cereal on the palate.

With 4 more drops of water: Much more enhanced fruit on both nose and palate.

Finish: Very long.

Overall Impression: Big and grainy with a large side order of fruit.

 

   
   

Cask Sample, sorry no further details

Some time ago now I was sent a cask sample from Tullibardine with a view to being part of a syndicate looking to purchase the cask. Unfortunately, I have no further details, but this is a good example of a 'Tulli'.

 
 

Nose: Gently aromatic with a very faint hint of citrus. The main aroma is not citrus, but one of light perfume containing an element which is almost marzipan-like in character.

Palate: Initially very smooth and creamy, targetting the front of the tongue with an assault of tingles. The perfume from the nose is also greatly in evidence, but this has now extended to include a selection of herbs and maybe even rose petal. That initial creaminess prevails through the whole experience, but it does so in a quite dry way. Don't get me wrong, this is far from unpleasant, in fact it is a lovely experience.

Finish: Long, very long.

With 3 drops of water: Three drops of water do almost nothing to change the nose, but the floral and perfume notes of the palate are definitely enhanced even more. In fact, I now recognise the main floral note; Violet! Yes, those funny little hard violet sweets we ate as kids have just returned, in a glass of whisky! The whisky is also a little drier with the water!

Overall impression: This is a quite different whisky. Very floral and aromatic, but not in a Lowland kind of way. There again, it isn't a Lowland dram. I like the creaminess and also the mixture of violet and herb flavours. I love the long finish, but I am not a big fan of the dryness.
Would I want to explore this whisky further? Yes!
Would I spend good money on this whisky? Yes again.

 

   
   

Tullibardine, Aged Oak, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light straw

Nose: My initial primary sensation here is one of very aromatic Alpine cheese alongside aged oak, as the name suggests really.

Palate: Much drier and more bitter than the nose suggested. It still has that cheese but it's not creamy. Somehow it's more reminiscent of a very dry and crisp white wine; Chablis maybe?

Finish: Long and dry.

Overall Impression: The dry bitterness of the palate disappoints after a promising nose.

 

   
   

Tullibardine, Sherry Wood, 1998-2008, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich gold, light amber

Nose: Dark fruits; currants, raisins, figs & plums with lots of aged wood and just a hint of leather.

Palate: Smooth black cherries with just a hint of dry woodiness. Leather, dark fruits and richer wood develop after some minutes.

Finish: Extremely long and fruity, just slightly dry.

Overall Impression: Slightly dry rich sherry with an almost everlasting finish. I like it!

 

   

 

  Vintages    
   

Tullibardine, 1988 Vintage, 22y, bottled 2010, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich yellow gold (21ct)

Nose: An initial blast of fruit and wood sadly fades to near insignificance after 3-4 minutes.

Palate: Smooth and creamy mouth-feel with lots of fruity wood, albeit slightly dry. After 2-3 minutes some hints of black cherries develop.

Finish: Medium with slightly dry fruit.

Overall Impression: Very strange, this whisky has all the right nuances which should make it a very good whisky, but sadly there's something missing or not quite as it should be. For example a great initial nose soon fades away as though it never existed.

 

   
     

Tullibardine, 1988 Vintage, bottled 2007, 46% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Nose: This has the typical Tullibardine nose of light floral notes, but these are occasionally intercepted by a whiff of raw, freshly peeled potato, making me describe this one as highly perfumed newly peeled potatoes.

Palate: Initially smooth and creamy with a delicately perfumed fruitiness tingling right at the front of the tongue which fades very slowly into a slightly bitter aftertaste on the back of the tongue which reminds me of star-fruit.

Thankfully this has no hint of potato on the palate.

With 3 drops of water: The nose and palate are both much smoother and creamier and the bitterness has disappeared.

Overall Impression: Even though it is smoother and creamier with the water, I think I prefer it without. This is a good, although not totally faultless (thanks to the potato nose) Tullibardine.

 

   
   

Tullibardine, 1993 Vintage, 17y, bottled 2010, 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale straw

Nose: A quite faint nose offers aromatic straw, light fruit comprising mainly apple and cherry and a very light, but slightly musky perfume.

Palate: Smooth and creamy mouth-feel with hay and grasses alongside water melon.

Finish: Long and light with hints of water melon.

Overall Impression: A light whisky typically suited to a summer evening in the garden, very interesting.

 

   

 

  Single Casks    
   

Tullibardine, 1976, bottled 2010, 54.5% ABV

Hogshead No.3160, bottle 197 of 227

Typical cost of this bottle; €€€€€

 
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Light amber

Nose: Creamy wood and leather, developing into sweet wood with hints of butterscotch which remind me once again of a childhood olde worlde sweet shoppe where all the sweet delights are unwrapped and offer delightful aromas.

Palate: Creamy, fruity bread dough alongside a black cherry and raspberry coulis and served on a slightly spicy wood and leather platter.

Finish: Long and luxurious.

Overall Impression: A truly fine Tullibardine, in fact a truly fine whisky point blank.

 

   

 

  Cask Strength    
   

Tullibardine, 1965, bottled 2010, 52.7% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; unsure, but likely €€€€€ to €€€€€

   
 

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber, dark oak

Nose: Sweet car polish on a hot sunny day, developing into candy floss with the slightest suggestion of vinegar in the background.

Palate: Fruity black pepper and candy floss.

With 5 drops of water: Both nose and palate are sweeter and fruitier.

Finish: Long.

Overall Impression: Lots of character make this another very good whisky.

 

   

 

     

Tullibardine, 10y, rare 'cream label with distillery picture' from the 1980's 40% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle; Now €€€€€

 
 

Nose: Light and floral with hints of liquorice and hazelnuts

Palate: Slightly thin and watery feel in the mouth and at the same time quite dry. The flavours are nuts and violets.

With 3 drops of water: This becomes much more aromatic with the water added. In fact, the flavours explode like a wild meadow in the mouth.

Overall Impression: In spite of the initial wateriness and dryness, this really is a good dram which I would love to have a bottle or three of.

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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