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

September 11, 2023


Rugby World Cup Special,
Tullibardine young and old

To be honest, I had considered doing a big session with spirits from every single country participating in the Rugby World Cup this year, which would have been easy to do (technically). But in the end, I thought it was a bit of a dated idea. Sometimes, you have to listen to yourself... So, we'll simply have an old official Tullibardine that celebrated another World Cup, plus naturally, a sparring pertner.




Tullibardine 8 yo 2015/2023 (53.7%, Dram Mor, first fill oloroso finish; cask #656932)

Tullibardine 8 yo 2015/2023 (53.7%, Dram Mor, first fill oloroso finish; cask #656932) Four stars
I've got a problem, I always first write 'Dram More' and no, I haven't turned MS-Word's autocorrect on. Must be a personal bias. I had tried an earlier 8 by Dram More, I mean Dram Mor and rather loved it (WF 85 and not WF 80 as, I've just seen, they write on their website!) Colour: deep gold. Nose: walnut cake, cookies and even ice cream (ever tried that delicacy?) all over the place, plus touches of tight bitter oranges and a growing, rather unusual earthiness that would lead to some kind of mustard. I'm finding all this pretty Tullibardine, in fact. With water: not unexpected, copper, old tools, a box of pre-war nails and so on. Mouth (neat): beautifully weird(ish), so classic, with some sour notes at first, mustard indeed, a lot of nutmeg and caraway and, naturally, more walnuts than on a walnut tree. Then rose liqueur – but where does this come from? With water: always this uncommon, but lovely sourness. Earlier bottlings were more extreme in that respect, and probably a little deviant, but these are much 'cleaner' although they wouldn't have lost the distillery's character, which the heavyish sherry did not offset. Finish: medium, with mustard, walnuts and old copper coins. Comments: love these 'flaws that aren't flaws'.
SGP:462 - 86 points.

Speaking of older Tullibardine…

Tullibardine 40 yo 1966/2006 (48%, OB, World Cup Edition 2006, sherry butt, cask #2132, 384 bottles)

Tullibardine 40 yo 1966/2006 (48%, OB, World Cup Edition 2006, sherry butt, cask #2132, 384 bottles) Five stars
Not rugby, sadly, only football/soccer. That's when we lost to Italy in Germany, so what's to celebrate anyway? Zidane's headbutt on Materazzi? Bah that's only football, so let's rather try this old Tullibardine to celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2023 (writing all this even before France vs. All Blacks, so that you know). Full sherry and natural cask strength. Colour: dark amber/copper. Nose: I had heard about this one's reputation so sadly, I am not surprised. It is pure old PX, from a solera started in, like the year 1800 and bottled in, like the year 1950. Stunning sun-dried raisins, old cognac, very old rancio and dried figs. It is not even very complex, but the fullness is astounding. Maybe because it had been re-racked after the Distillery had been sold in the early 2000s? Mouth: two-sided. First the same kind of extreme top-of-range sweet PX, and second a much drier, coffee and oak-fuelled development, full of old walnuts once more, cocoa powder, cigar tobacco, clove… Finish: long and even more clove-y and chocolaty. A rather sumptuous bitter coffee in the aftertaste, with a marmalade-y signature. Comments: two old whiskies in one, in fact, which would indeed suggest it had been re-racked in PX. But as always, I could be totally wrong. Like Zidane.
SGP:671 - 90 points.

PS: oh sorry, I've just seen that it was also bottled to celebrate England's win, which happened in 1966 indeed, if I'm not wrong. But back to rugby…

(Thank you Andy/Whiskyprism)

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