Google Tullibardine, an independent quintet

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

March 29, 2021


Tullibardine, an independent quintet

Tullibardine's a bit like Fettercairn, Glenturret, or even Edradour as the latter used to be two decades ago, unpredictable. So, some ups and some downs but on the other hand, the ravages of modern oak/wine-driven whisky production (nutshell, all good, all the same) are now making those idiosyncrasies stand out more and more. Unless them too would be starting to bury their singular makes under tons of vanillin or PX… Let's see what we have…

Tullibardine 13 yo (46%, Cadenhead, Original Collection, bourbon, 2020)

Tullibardine 13 yo (46%, Cadenhead, Original Collection, bourbon, 2020) Three stars
There's been some excellent 1993s by CAD lately, but this ought to be a 2007. Colour: white wine. Nose: as expected, full of crushed bitter leaves (some kind of rustic pesto), ginger, leather, rye dough, natural rubber and just plain grass. Notes of avocado juice in the background, with a little guava too, which makes it easier for sure. Mouth: rather raw, eau-de-vie-ish, on kirschwasser and damson spirit, then oatcakes and perhaps sour cherries. Then rather more bitter, with a lot of tea, bitter almonds and just green wood. Finish: rather long, more on breads and citrus, as well as more green tea and ginger. More sour cherries in the aftertaste. Comments: very rustic but rather charming. One for your hipflask, I would advise.
SGP:361 - 80 points.

Let's try another 13…

Tullibardine 13 yo 2007/2020 (59.3%, Golden Cask, cask #CM263, 219 bottles)

Tullibardine 13 yo 2007/2020 (59.3%, Golden Cask, cask #CM263, 219 bottles) Three stars and a half
Unless I'm wrong, Tullibardine has been belonging to small French group 'Terroir Distillers' for around ten years now. Terroir in whisky indeed… Colour: white wine. Nose: same make as that of the Cadenhead, just a tad fruitier but that may well be the higher ABV. Dough, grass, cherry leaves, oranges. With water: some beeswax arising, bicycle inner tube, bitter almonds, amaretti… Mouth (neat): good sweet green fruits in abundance, especially granny smith, kiwis, then paraffin and Seville oranges. Notes of raw kirschwasser as well. With water: much sweeter now and rather all on barley water, with some orange drops and melon sherbet. The core remains a little grassy though. Finish: rather long, on candyfloss and marshmallows. Cherry stems and green tea in the aftertaste. Comments: the fruits woke up when water was added. Solid drop.
SGP:561 - 83 points.

Perhaps a modern youngster…

Tullibardine 5 yo 2015/2020 (56%, Dram Mor, 1st fill oloroso, cask #9900098)

Tullibardine 5 yo 2015/2020 (56%, Dram Mor, 1st fill oloroso, cask #9900098) Four stars
Distillation by the 'new' owners, obviously. Let's see if this is another Kavalan of Scotland… Colour: amber. Nose: but of course. Butterscotch, maple syrup, a little acetone, raisins soaked in rum, café latte (that'll be +5€, thank you), Nutella. Had the cask been STRised? With water: same plus a little chicken bouillon, with mandatory parsley and bits of chives. A drop of Bovril too. Mouth (neat): the cherry-leaf side of Tullibardine's well there, so the heavy cask treatment did not completely erase any distillery character this time, but the rest is on varnish, roasted nuts, halva, butterscotch, and some sweet wine, perhaps around Rivesaltes, other vins doux naturels etc. So, basically, raisins. With water: once again it got a tad meatier after reduction, also more on walnuts, on classic oloroso-type flavours… Finish: long, kind of on dry Mexican chocolate sauce. It's good fun to see it getting drier and drier over time, which is great as sugars will kill any finish/aftertaste in my book. Comments: excellent dram, but what was the distillery again? Joking. Partly.
SGP:452 - 85 points.

Tullibardine 2013/2019 (53.6%, Or Sileis, Craftsman Selection, sherry, cask #10523693, 111 bottles)

Tullibardine 2013/2019 (53.6%, Or Sileis, Craftsman Selection, sherry, cask #10523693, 111 bottles) Four stars
Our friends in Taiwan are doing every effort with their colourful labels. Colour: deep gold. Nose: some care has been given to the wood here, which was pretty active. Vanilla and mangos, then papayas and bananas, then praline and brioche, then raisins and a wee drop of prune sauce (hoisin). No complains whatsoever, even if once again, distillery character may have been swept under the carpet, so to speak. With water: whiffs of menthol and verbena rising to your nostrils. That just always works. Mouth (neat): very good, sweet and spicy, with excellent citrus, pomelos, marmalade, coriander perhaps, a little sweet curry, crème catalane, Stolle… With water: perfect modern malt whisky. Vanilla, tropical fruits, mentholy herbs, citrus, Thai spices, brioche. Globalised Scotch malt whisky – again, no complains here. Finish: rather long, perfect, fresh, balanced, with good citrus and passion fruits. Vanilla in the signature. Comments: very excellent dram, but which was the distillery again?
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Tullibardine 14 yo 2006/2020 (55.3%, Lady of the Glen, rum barrel finish, cask #36, 218 bottles)

Tullibardine 14 yo 2006/2020 (55.3%, Lady of the Glen, rum barrel finish, cask #36, 218 bottles) Four stars
Rather double maturation than a simple finishing, as it spent half of its life in the rum cask (I know some friends who would happily do the same – no, they're not named Diogenes). Colour: light gold. Nose: crushed bananas, chamomile, tangerines, barley syrup, cane syrup, beeswax, orange blossom honey, panettone… But wait, this is awesome! With water: big whiffs of natural 'bourbon' vanilla, Meursault, Champagne blanc de blancs, milk chocolate... This is truly awesome indeed. Mouth (neat): very good, with superb waxy citrus, tangerines galore, oranges, more oranges, even more oranges… In truth we've left Whiskydom, but this is so nice that no one would even consider think of complaining about that. With water: old-skool herbal liqueurs and just a little too much paraffin – is that the distillate speaking out? Citron liqueur. Finish: medium, clean, citrusy, rounded, with some honey and some beeswax. More cane syrup too. Comments: I say do this again.
SGP:651 - 87 points.

Pleasant session, they never stopped getting better. In Alsatian – and German, we call this a 'Himmelsleiter'. There, say it… Now, God is at 100/100. Just saying…

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Tullibardine we've tasted so far







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