Our trip to Scotland is now over (we’re still in the UK for another 10 days though). As we spent most of our time in the Speyside and in the highlands and Orkney, my reviews this month have all been of whiskies from distilleries in those regions. This is true as well of this review, of an older Tullibardine. The distillery is located in Perthshire—just a little north-east of Sterling, in the relative vicinity of Deanston and Glenturret. I did not visit it. I did, however, purchase this whisky from Cadenhead’s in Edinburgh on this trip (as I did Friday’s Glen Ord); and so this is also my third review in a row of a whisky purchased and consumed on this trip (the Skara Brae Orkney malt was the first).
Tullibardine is a relatively young distillery. They’ve been in business since 1949. Amusingly, if you look at their website they try to fudge this with talk of a story that begins in 1488 and sees a royal charter granted for a brewery on the grounds in 1503; “our story” then jumps to 1947 when the founder apparently began converting “this original brewery” into a distillery. The age of this malt—bottled by Cadenhead’s—is more clear-cut: it is 24 years old, which is these days a pretty old age for a malt, and one for which no dubious narratives are needed. I finished this with a friend over a couple of days after purchasing it on our first day in Edinburgh. Here now are my notes.
Tullibardine 24, 1993 (45.5%; Cadenhead; bourbon hogshead; from my own bottle)
Nose: Grass, almond paste, pine, a bit of glue, rye bread. Sweeter with time with a bit of vanilla, a bit of cream. Water brings out more fruit here—apples and pears now and musky malt.
Palate: Starts out grassy here as well and there’s some bitter lime zest too; gets fruitier as I swallow. Nice texture: oily and rich at 45.4%. Spicier with time but not tannic; there’s some aniseed in there too now. With water there’s more grass and also a grainy and metallic note, bordering on bitter.
Finish: Medium-long. The fruit expands here (lime, melon) and it gets quite malty as well. A bit of a charred note with time.
Comments: A very pleasant, summery malt in a particular grassy and fruity Speyside style. That charred note at the end is interesting. Not sure if that’s peat (do Tullibardine peat their malt appreciably?) or if it’s from the oak.
Rating: 86 points.