Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition was one of the first releases from the distillery after its reopening in 2003 and is a mix of casks that are “at least five years old”; they’re supposedly all first-fill casks as well. There is no actual numbered age statement on the whisky bottle, but that 5-year-old quote comes from the company’s marketing. It’s fairly low, but 5 is better than 4 which is better than 3 so there’s that.
Closed in 1995 and reopened in 2003 under a new and independent owner it was far from being the first time the distillery had changed hands. Founded in 1949 by an architect, it was sold to Brodie Hepburn Ltd in 1953 who was then bought by Invergordon in 1971. 22 years later, 1993, Whyte & Mackay bought the Invergordon company and all their distilleries. W&M shut down the distillery in 1995.
Between 1995 and 2003 Whyte & Mackay changed their name several times. In 1996 W&M became JBB and then in 2001 became Kyndal. In 2003 they changed the name back to Whyte & Mackay before selling the Tullibardine distillery to the newly formed, and wholly independent, Tullibardine Distillery ltd. During this time the distillery slept and old stocks aged, but this Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition uses none of that whisky. Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition is made using only whisky that was distilled in 2003 or later, so there’s that as well.
Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition Info
Region: Highlands, Scotland
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Age: NAS (5 Years per the company marketing)
Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition Review
Simple and a touch spirity, but not bad. Notes of malt, vanilla, honey, apricots and smarties mix with a bit of bubblegum and lemon which keeps things interesting.
A bit chalky and spirity in its delivery of malt, vanilla, lemon, honey, dried orchard fruit and bits of grain, mineral water and spice.
Short puff of malt, vanilla, spice, lemon, spirit and chalk.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not fully balanced, thin body and a light watery texture.
The best part of the Tullibardine Aged Oak Edition is the aroma. The flavor hangs a few paces behind and the aftertaste even further. There’s nothing really all that special about this whisky, but there’s nothing abhorringly off-putting about it either. All things considered it’s a rather MOTR (Middle Of The Road) whisky. It has a character that could potentially be fairly tasty given more time in oak. All-in-all not a terrible restart to the brand. Obviously could be better, but could also be a whole lot worse.
SCORE: 78/100 (C+)