Tullibardine x5 tasting, 17/06/2021

tullibardine tasting

During this tasting we sampled Tullibardine Sovereign @ 43% ABV, Tullardine 225 Sauternes cask @ 43% ABV, Tullibardine 228 Burgundy cask @ 43% ABV, Tullibardine 500 Sherry cask @ 43% ABV, and the Whisky Broker Tullibardine 14 yr old single cask number #33 @ 56.8% ABV.

This is the summary of my tweets from the tasting.

AS A FAMILY OWNED, INDEPENDENT DISTILLERY, WE BELIEVE IN DOING THINGS THE TRADITIONAL WAY, RESPECTING OUR HERITAGE WHILST ENSURING THAT WE LOOK TO THE FUTURE. THIS IS WHY TODAY WE CONTINUE TO HANDCRAFT OUR HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY.

ONCE THE WHISKY HAS BEEN DISTILLED, IT NEEDS A CASK TO MATURE IN. OUR EXPERTS SELECT FIRST FILL CASKS FROM THE VERY BEST BOURBON DISTILLERIES TO CREATE OUR SIGNATURE TULLIBARDINE SOVEREIGN. WE THEN SELECT BARRIQUES, HOGSHEADS AND EX SHERRY BUTTS FROM THE WINE CHATEAUS OF EUROPE AND OUR COOPER TENDS TO THE WOOD. WE ONLY EVER USE THE FINEST FIRST FILL CASKS TO IMPART MAXIMUM FLAVOUR AND COLOUR. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS DURING THE WHISKY MAKING PROCESS, UP TO 70% OF THE FLAVOUR AND COLOUR WILL COME FROM THE WOOD.

Tullibardine whisky

Tullibardine Sovereign 43% ABV

tullibardine sovereign

TULLIBARDINE’S SIGNATURE SINGLE MALT HAS BEEN MATURED IN FIRST-FILL EX-BOURBON BARRELS. THE SOVEREIGN IS BEAUTIFULLY GOLDEN WITH ITS FLORAL, SWEET BARLEY NOTES AND SUBTLE HINTS OF VANILLA. ON THE FINISH THERE IS FUDGE, PEAR DROPS AND SOFT SPICE.

Tullibardine Whisky

Appearance

White wine in colour here, reasonably thick swirl line and thin legs with slow teardrops.

Nose

Lemon sherbets, dusty, a touch Smokey I’d say, apricots, nectarines, balsa wood, and milky coffee initially for me.

Palate

Very fruit forward initially, tropical and stoned fruits, with some bite in the background. Pineapple, apricot, nectarines, then a little drying, cream soda, then bitter lemon, coffee, cardamom, some chilli’s, nice oak.

Finish

Medium length, more black coffee, chilli’s, cinnamon, oak, pontefract cakes, liquorice, anise, a promising start for me.

My thoughts

For an entry level drop i did rather enjoy this one, it’s not a wow whisky, but it is a good sipper, something to enjoy if you don’t want to sit and think about it, just to simply enjoy a drop of whisky. At around £35-37 a bottle i’d say it’s worth it.


Tullibardine 225 Sauternes Cask 43% ABV

tullibardine 225

A WONDERFUL, RICH WHISKY THAT HAS BEEN MATURED IN FIRST-FILL EX-BOURBON BARRELS, AND FINISHED IN 225 LITRE SAUTERNES CASKS. THIS BEAUTIFULLY GOLDEN TULLIBARDINE HAS HINTS OF CITRUSY LIME ON THE NOSE AND HINTS OF VANILLA AND OATMEAL. ON THE PALATE, THERE IS A TOUCH OF TROPICAL PINEAPPLE AND ZINGY ORANGE ZEST. OUR 225 FINISHES WITH A CREAMY EDGE.

Tullibardine Whisky

Appearance

Light gold in colour here, very syrupy swirl line, nice thick legs.

Nose

Slightly Smokey again, I like that, slightly dusty, dandelion and burdock, slight red berries, candy floss, beeswax, a light wood note, school pencil shavings.

Palate

Red fruits, mainly berries, toasted bread, apricots too. A little lemon, and I’d say nuts, leading to cough candy and aniseed, espresso, char, I like this too

Finish

long side of medium, Smokey, pencil shavings, white pepper spiciness, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon but very gentle.

My thoughts

Again i rather enjoyed this bottling too. The DNA aromas and flavours are still here, with noticeable differences from the Sovereign bottling too. This one has darker heavier flavours throughout, it’s definitely spicier too. At around £40 i think this is a decent bottle too, it does offer more than the Sovereign, just don’t expect a mind blower.


Tullibardine 228 Burgundy cask 43% ABV

tullibardine 228

THE AUBURN HUE OF THIS WHISKY COMES DIRECTLY FROM ITS TIME SPENT IN THE 228 LITRE BARRIQUES THAT PREVIOUSLY HELD PINOT NOIR FROM CHATEAU DE CHASSAGNE-MONTRACHET. THE NOSE OF THE 228 FEATURES RED CHERRIES AND VANILLA WITH HINTS OF CHOCOLATE AND TURKISH DELIGHT. ON THE PALATE, THERE IS A REAL HINT OF RED SUMMER FRUIT, MORE CHOCOLATE AND A SWEET SPICE NOTE ON THE FINISH.

Tullibardine Whisky

Appearance

Mid to dark gold this time, swirl line starts to bead up, syrupy like the 225, and thick slow legs.

Nose

ABV feels a little higher here, though it’s not, toasted bread, slightly deeper feeling, golden syrup, smokey, treacle, honey, darker fruits. More 5 spice, prunes, figs, quite Xmas cake. A little wood polish, leather, still a citrus edge here, I also like this one so far tbh.

Palate

Spicy, slightly Smokey, a little ash I’d dare to suggest, stoned fruits, lemons, then black coffee, cask char, dark chocolate, and biscuits, Rich tea biscuits.

Finish

Smoke, ash, red berries, cranberries, a little drying. Cask char, espresso bitterness, liquorice, anise, liquorice torpedo sweets.

My thoughts

Another good variation on the spirit DNA aromas and flavours imho, i liked this bottling too. As with the previous two bottlings this certainly doesn’t lack flavour, they are easily found. Like the 225 this bottling is around £40, and i personally think it’s worth it. As @jenkaloid said on the tasting, if someone bought him a bottle he’d be more than happy with it, i feel the same.


Tullibardine 500 Sherry cask 43% ABV

tullibardine 500

MATURED IN FIRST-FILL EX-BOURBON BARRELS AND THEN FOR A PERIOD OF TIME IN 500 LITRE SPANISH SHERRY BUTTS, WHICH GIVES THIS TULLIBARDINE ITS NUTTY BROWN COLOUR. THERE ARE INTENSE TOFFEE APPLE NOTES ON THE NOSE WITH A HINT OF OATMEAL. THESE NOTES THEN COMBINE WITH A VISCOUS SPICY FEEL AND SWEET DATES ON THE FINISH.

Tullibardine Whisky

Appearance

Slightly darker gold than the 228, good swirl line, slow medium/thick legs.

Nose

More depth again here, more rounded, still getting toast, pencil shavings, and lots of mixed dark fruit, NO SULPHUR!!

Palate

Glazing putty has arrived now, linseed oil, lovely mixed dark fruits, mince pie filling, and a little foresty too, with juniper.

Finish

Quite long, warming spices, mince pie filling all day for me, Xmas pudding, stewed dark fruits, very nice and I’d definitely have a bottle tbh.

My thoughts

I really enjoyed this one, and out of the three of us who tasted it i enjoyed it the most. No sulphur here thankfully, and plenty of flavour for me. It’s not a sherry bomb that’s uber spicy, but it did have the flavours i expect in good amounts, perhaps it’s more for whisky drinkers who are dabbling in sherry cask whiskies, but i did enjoy it very much. Again this bottling is around the £40 mark, which i think is reasonably good personally.


Whisky Broker Tullibardine 14 yr old single cask number #33 @ 56.8% ABV.

whisky broker tullibardine

Appearance

Chestnut brown, very thick swirl line, with syrupy slow thick legs.

Nose

Ooosh, massive nose, super cocktail cherry syrup, wood polish, pears, dunnage, earthiness, strawberries, jeez this is good. Cranberries, coffee, nuts, banana foam sweets?

Palate

Soooo good, soo much red fruit sweetness mixed with smoke, and spices, I’m loving this @gordonsmith63, what a belter mate.

Finish

Long, sooooooo long, warming, spicy Xmas cake and pudding, malt list, fruit cake, dark chocolate Orange, bitter marmalade, black coffee, anise, liquorice, cranberry drying, what a dram.

My thoughts

Now, if you want a slap around the face flavour assault this one will do that all day. The higher ABV showcasing what a Tullibardine whisky can be. I could literally nose and taste this for ages, there’s just so much in it, each sniff or taste brings something new, it’s an absolute delight to try. Sadly it’s only really available at whisky auctions these days, but i do hope Whisky Broker bottle another higher ABV Tullibardine again.


Overall tasting thoughts

I love vertical whisky tasting, they give a real impression of the spirit involved, and the quality of wood too, this tasting was no different. Only having tried one Tullibardine before this i was looking forward to trying official releases and an indie on the same evening. I have to say that i enjoyed them all, though they have to be judged as where they sit in the whisky world.

The official releases were rather enjoyable in my opinion for 43% ABV, chill filtered and coloured, i certainly didn’t find them lacking flavours or aromas, they have their place and are aimed towards certain markets. The Whisky Broker bottling is a whole different beast, it’s a full on flavour party on the palate and smells divine, Whisky Broker did a cracking job of it.

There are many more notes and comments about these bottles from our tasting, if you’d like to read more check out #thewhiskeychaps through Tweetdeck and scroll down through the tweets from the evening


Thanks to – @gordonsmith63 for the Whisky broker sample, and joining us for the tasting, along with @jenkaliod, @RockNRolla60 and @WhiskyWithMolly, (Twitter follow buttons below).

Image credits – Tullibardine bottlings courtesy of Master of Malt, Whisky Broker bottling courtesy of Whisky Auctioneer.

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