Tullibardine

Tullibardine Sauternes Finish (40%, OB, 2010)

Tullibardine Sauternes Finish (Official Bottling)

46% ABV, £45 for 70cl

Score 78/100

What they say:

Sauternes is only made when the conditions in Bordeaux are perfect*; the wine is deliciously sweet and incredibly sort [sic: sought; If you are sorting a thing, you’ve presumably already found it!] after. We have managed to source barriques that were previously used for maturing this wonderful wine. By filling these barriques with Tullibardine Single Malt for nearly a year this has allowed our whisky to take on a lovely rich golden colour with hints of ginger cake, orange peel and faint barley married with spice, sweet citrus and a very long, elegant finish.

*To read more about Sauternes see Hazelburn 8 year old Sauternes Wood Finish

What I say:

I purchased the Sauternes finish Tullibardine immediately after tasting this expression in the tasting room at the end of the Tullibardine Distillery Tour. I had already bought and tried the Sherry finish [being an afficonado of sherry-finished whisky this seemed at the time like the most logical expression to plump for], however trying the Sauternes I realised my mistake! This is pretty exceptionally sweet, moreish, complex and intriguing. The only [very very minor] downside of this whisky is its tendency to become slightly acidic and overly oaky if left for too long in the glass, so once poured drink it up!

Colour:

Deep yellow gold

Nose:

Sweet green grape [esters and a little acetone], cereal barley malt and a freshness that reminds me of pine, lemon and orange

Taste:

Sweet cereal barley malt [again] with typical hints of Tullibardine oaked malt distillate, zingy fruit freshness like gingerbread with lemon icing heavy on the icing sugar. This warms in the mouth and becomes acidic and drying like a good dry white wine then the taste separates leaving a mildly spicy fizz on the tongue whilst coating the roof of the mouth with cereal. This reminds me of sucking on boiled sweets like lemon barley sugars with a rogue pineapple cube thrown in the mix.

Finish:

The finish is medium to long with mouth watering fresh lemon and lime citrus fruits

Would I buy it again:

Yes. This is like the white wine whisky equivalent to the red wine finish of Bruichladdich Rocks; however this has a more subtle blend of whisky distillate and white wine flavours and the Sauternes sweetness is well restrained. The current equivalent from Tullibardine is the 225† [denoting the 225 litre finishing barrique] – again from the tasting notes there appears to be great continuity of the Tullibardine output, such that I am sure I will likely find the 225 just as delicious as the previous Tullibardine Sauternes finish expression.

† see http://www.masterofmalt.com/whiskies/tullibardine/tullibardine-225-sauternes-finish-whisky/

2 replies »

  1. Sorry this is a no-age statement whisky, the previous bottlings (distilled 1993 and bottled 2006) suggest that this is the standard 12 Year Old Tullibardine malt that is then matured in Sauternes Barriques for 12 months making it equivalent to a 13 Year Old. Perhaps during the period this was bottled they were not as defined with the ageing and so released as NAS?

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