There are a few standout articles on this site which are always at the forefront of my mind. The Tullibardine 225 Sauternes Cask Finish is one of them for being just so intensely bad to my palate. Is it perhaps the wine finish or the whisky they make at Tullibardine. It probably isn’t the entire whisky range but to test the theory I went to the oldest and most expensive whisky in the range to see how I got on.
The distillery is located next to the motorway in Auchterarder and was built in 1947 before opening in 1949. This was the first distillery to be opened since 1900 in Scotland from a converted brewery which was previously on the site. That is the reason why for the 1488 markings on the bottle and on the side of the distillery. The site has been used since then for the production of alcohol but the distillery is essentially a post war creation. In my opinion dropping this loose connection to medieval times and embracing the accolade being the first post war brand new distillery in Scotland would make better marketing sense.
The distillery worked as an industrial distillery producing malt whisky for blenders until being mothballed in 1994 by Whyte & Mackay. In 2003 a private group of individual’s bought the distillery and the stock from the warehouses for £1.1 million and set about turning it into a distillery producing single malt whisky with a visitor attraction.
The group sold their stake in 2011 to a french drinks company Picard Vins but not before investing heavily in a new wood policy to revitalise the large number of tired casks in the warehouse. This is common for whisky being matured for blends and the barrel types did not allow for a diverse range of single malts to be produced. To provide additional revenue the site had a shopping centre added to it to provide rental income and passing trade to their visitor centre and cafe.
Today the Picard parent company is investing heavily in the marketing of Tullibardine and has closed the retail park. The space will now be used to expand the operations of the distillery as they grow their market share. It seems that the future of Tullibardine has been assured now and is going to grow into a volume producer of single malt whisky.
The 25 year old has been around for a number of years and is packaged in a decorative box. The current version is exclusively matured in ex-sherry hogshead casks for a minimum of 25 years. I have it on good authority that there is much older whisky in here as well to make up the batch all of which is available for around the £150 mark. That is a low price on the market by some way and part of the reason is the 43% ABV gets you more bottles from a small parcel of casks over say cask strength.
Colour – Yellower than the reddish image above
Nose – rich and nutty. banana bread and wholemeal loafs
Palate – thick and oily texture. more nuts and salty porridge. Thick cut bitter marmalade, honey and sweet oak sap
Finish – The long finish you hope for from an older whisky. Mellow oak spices persist and the odd dried fruit note
This is an excellent whisky and I know I am not alone on that. Many people have recommend I try this and they weren’t wrong. It is just the right mix of quality, price, availability and age. If your budget is slightly lower look out for the 20 year old bourbon version which retails under £90