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Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Tullibardine 27 year old 1993 Cadenhead, Wood Range Port Cask

I'm reviewing a Tullibardine because Tullibardine. End of story. But I'll keep typing anyway.

Despite the Ugh Potential of a "Wood Range" and despite the whisky's maroon hue, this Tully spent only ~24 of its moons in a tawny port cask, not all ~324 moons. So it had a legitimate Portuguese summer sojourn rather than a couple months in a tanning bed. I am already ashamed of that sentence.

What concerns me is its 41%abv cask strength. Cadenhead has rolled out at least fifteen 1993 vintage Tullibardines, and all of them left their casks at less than 49%abv. And, for what it's worth, this one was not the weakest of the bunch. So there's something curious about that parcel. But I'm going to drink this anyway, because Tullibardine.

Distillery: Tullibardine
Ownership: Picard Vins & Spiritueux
Region: Highlands (Perthshire)
Bottler: Cadenhead
Series: Wood Range
Type: Single Malt
Age: 27 years old (1993-2020)
Maturation: maybe a hoggie for the first 25 years, then a Tawny Port cask from 2018 to 2020
Outturn: 222 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 41%
(from a bottle split)


I get one main note on the nose: blackberry jam on rye toast. It's simple but very satisfying. It's light and grainy in the background, like a gentle blend. Cinnamon red hots and cherry lollipops appear around the edges later on.

The palate has a sweet element, like Demerara sugar and Luxardo syrup, but that's held in check by a savory note and fennel seed. There's a mix of malt, ginger beer and oranges in the midsection. With time it picks up tannins and peas (really).

It finishes slightly bready and lightly tannic, with orange peel and cherry cola highlights.


Sure this could have been better a few years earlier when the whisky was ~48%abv, but now it's an easy sipper (or gulper). A bottle of this would vanish quickly much like the cask's contents, but memories of this Tullibardine may also disappear instantly. I'd take it over Monday's Glenallachie, but I’m probably in the minority on that.

Availability - ???
Pricing - it was €200+
Rating - 83

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