Bought – Sainsbury, 23rd May, 2014
89.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
79/100 – Whiskybase (average from 68 member votes)
I tend to think of Tullibardine as one of the more obscure Scottish distilleries, so I was surprised and delighted when I saw this bottle of non-aged statement ‘Sovereign’ on a shelf in my local Sainsbury supermarket. Matured in bourbon barrels, Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible 2014 review describes the bourbon aromas as “an entire regiment of delicate oaky tones from the standard butterscotch through to polished oak floors.” He then summarises with “beautifully salivating despite the intricate oak notes.”
The colour is quite light, which suggests no added colour, although this isn’t declared anywhere on the bottle or box. What is stated, very proudly, is a quote from Jim Murray from 2008 saying “we are getting to the stage where Tullibardine is now becoming one of the true great single malts of Scotland”.
Clearly a whisky with pedigree and promise you would think but 79/100 on Whiskybase isn’t a fantastic score. Comments include “unmemorable” , “a pleasant, fresh and well made spirit, with a delicate balance of spice and floral notes, leading to a significant depth” and “an aperitif whisky, if you ask me. Nothing that jumps out, but I cannot fault it either.”.
Here’s Horst Luening with his thoughts on You Tube (July 2015):