Thursday, March 01, 2007
Tullibardine Vintage 1993
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Founded in 1949 in buildings that occupied a 15th century brewery, Tullibardine is the second distillery of that name to be built on that site. It is one of noted Welsh distillery designer William Delmé-Evans' buildings whose style can be seen in the designs of Jura and Glenallachie.
Tullibardine was purchased by Whyte&Mackay in 1993 and mothballed a year later creating a strange predicament for the distillery. As there has not been any production for the past 10 years, they have only old stocks to draw on. As a result, they have released several older vintages and wood finishes. They have launched a cafe and a beer (brewed on site) sharing the name 1488(King James IV purhased beer from a brewery on this same site to celebrate his coronation in 1488). They have a visitor centre and an expanding retail park giving the impression of a Wal-Mart or ASDA supercentre with a reasonably utilitarian looking distillery as an afterthought. Not super romantic, but a fiscal reality with long-term vision that benefits the local economy and keeps the distillery in production.
Now let's see if the latter is even something desirable.
Sour yellow plums, hard ones. Green notes like chlorophyll extract. Musty books. A series of aromas making their presence known, but not working together.
Musty oak at the start, good malted barley taste, sweet but turning astringent. Some lemon peel, and herbal notes like a brown liqueur.
This is whisky that tastes exerimental. Reminds me of a single cask Mannochmore I had once. Not well integrated, and while it is not complex, it is interesting and we look forward to seeing what the distillery can really do in several years.
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