Milk and Cardboard
A new week, a new distillery. This week the Tullibardine distillery #62.
The Tullibardine distillery, proudly displays the year 1488 as its founding year, with the slight nuance that the distillery was only erected on former brewery grounds back in 1949.
As one of the few Scottish distilleries that was privately owned, it ventured into the single malt market, though dare I say, fairly unsuccessful thus far. With a large portfolio featuring a wide range of various whisky finishes on offering and unbound by the limitations of the blended whisky market, this could very well have been the next BenRiach.
After eight years of silence, the revived distillery, (as far as I can tell) still running at only 50% of its total production capacity, had to turn to their old stock, back from the Whyte & Mackay days. What followed were a series of vintage releases that targeted the cask finish single malt market. The sale of the distillery to the French Picard Vins & Spiritueux company in 2011 was the start of a new chapter. With the arrival of a new range of NAS whiskies mainly wine finishes, the vintage releases seem to be history. .
While its newest range has earned some medals at the latest IWSC awards, Tullibardine still is not one of the mainstream brands, nor is it considered to be one of the hidden gems by the connoisseurs.
The choice for wine finished whiskies by the new owners who are primarily vinters themselves is obvious and with their solid access to various premium wine casks, we may very well be at the dawn of a new era for the Tullibardine distillery. Just like Mark Renier transformed Bruichladdich, these new owners could open a whole new world of wine matured whisky. Given the age restrictions there are only wine finished whiskies available. But maybe in a few years we could see a whole new range of fully wine cask matured whiskies.
Anyhow this is the 1993 vintage edition a 17yo whisky, distilled under the former management two years before the distilleries closure and bottled under the new management back in 2010. For a 17yo whisky this one still comes at a surprisingly cheap price, only €34 at the “local” online retailer.
Nose: Spirituous, cardboard, soft fruity notes, whiffs of white spirit, scents of fermenting rice (sake) and a touch of rubber.
Mouth: Slightly waxy body, touch of vanilla, a dash of milk, lavender liquour, some underlying notes of sake,finished of with a peppery edge.
Finish: Quite long, soft to medium spicy notes, grey pepper: soft grind, and milky tones.
|This all may sound very unpleasant and I’ll admit, it was not a “good” or “enjoyable” whisky by any stretch.
But it was not repulsive and still highly drinkable. Image a Tobermory with a dash of milk in it.
Will I buy again? No, Will I recommend it to anyone? No. Will I try something from Tullibardine again in the near future? Of course, never judge a distillery by one dram and the new range seems promising.