Yesterday I participated in the First Dutch Twitter Tasting. The original idea came from the guys who organized the AnCnoc Twitter tasting I attend lately. The owners of DH17Slijterijen, who also took part in the organization of last Sunday visit to Zuidam threw the idea of a Dutch variant out on twitter some time ago with this as a result and due to the huge success of the event there are already follow-ups announced even with some different spirits. Back to this particular tasting. Every participant found three samples tubes in the post box or at the Zuidam event. The tasting of tonight consist of three Tullibardine samples. For me it is a first encounter with this Distillery. The glasses I used were three Libbey tasting glasses. So let’s go to business.
Tullibardine Aged Oak
The first sample to be tasted was the, no age statement, Aged Oak expression. It is bottled at 40% ABV. The colour is a very light straw gold. Nosing this one gives you some undefined smell (someone else called it glue), accompanied by vibrant young citrusy smells, but also something more lightly acidulous like some sort of apple/pear juice. The taste is overpowering with wood tones and tannins, while the finish is extremely bitter. Both the taste and finish are very unpleasant and I didn’t even finish the dram: It is not my kind of taste and I need to clean my taste buds very quickly. So points, well I think you won’t be surprised but this one scores 55 (partly because the nose is not so bad). Prices around €30.
Tullibardine 1993 Vintage
The second dram of the evening is distilled in 1993 and again bottled at 40% ABV. Probable bottling year 2004. Hope this one is better and my taste buds are working again after drinking an entire glass of water. Again the colour is somewhat the same as the Aged Oak, while the nose is more rounded, softer. There are more vibrant tones of fruit (citrus/peach) and some blossom tones. After a while I smell leather and some yeast in it to. The taste is vanilla, bittersweet chocolate with (again) some bitter wood but luckily not too much. The finish is nice somewhat sweet peppery (someone refers to this as fresh ginger, which I can follow although I was thinking more of red pepper berries) and some raisins. This one was for me much better, but I still got that annoying bitterness in my mouth. I don’t know if it was still the Aged Oak ruining my taste buds or even somewhat of a Tullibardine trademark. Points better, but due to the bitter finish, so 68 it is. Prices around € 35
Tullibardine 1992/2010 Premier Cru Classé Bordeaux Chateau Lafite Finish
A mouthful describing this one, the colour for a starter is very different then the two before. It’s pink, almost as some kind of rosé. The nose is very much influenced by the wine cask. I am getting red forest fruit tones with soft spices and some woodiness; somehow the term red wine gum came up and described it all quite well. The taste is spicy, bitter (again) woody oak hints, but you also will be getting the influence of the European or even French Oak Finish, in the way of sherry (raisins) notes. After some time the wine influence will disappear and the dram gets worse. This is a dram you must not allow it to breathe too long in my opinion. Points the best one of the evening: 70 points. Prices around € 55
Conclusion: Organisation scoring 100 points, very good organized and amusing, drams well not quite my cup of tea. I have a sample left of the 1993 and will taste it again in the future, to see if Aged Oak didn’t ruin the hole evening taste wise.