Tullibardine 2012 – Firkin 49

Posted 05 February 2021 by Matt / In Tullibardine
The Dramble reviews Firkin Whisky Company Tullibardine 2012 – Firkin 49

Bottle Name: Tullibardine 2012

ABV: 48.9%
Distillery: Tullibardine
Bottler: Firkin Whisky Co.
Region: Highlands

Firkin Whisky’s 2012 Tullibardine – is by-lined as ‘Firkin 49’ - both after the founding date of the distillery (1949) and owner Mike Collings’s number of years working within the whisky industry. As well as coming from the American/French oak stave combo cask, it is a product of both oloroso and amontillado sherries (concurrently).

Bottled at the end of last year, 306 bottles have been produced from custom cask #652504 – they can be purchased via Top Whiskies for £69.

Nose: An exceptionally nutty selection of aromas – almond oil, walnuts and royal icing covered marzipan (without the fruit cake underneath). Strawberry cordial and caramel wafers are joined by Twix bars and suede leather, whilst in the background, Eaton Mess has been livened with a few sparing drops of balsamic. The addition of water offers a more reductive (so that’s the oloroso rather than the amontillado) quality – jams, preserves and compotes – with both berry fruits and orange additions.

Taste: Rich, nutty sherry from the get-go. Rum-soaked raisins, crunchy and bubbly honeycomb and light and fluffy sponge cake. All the nuts (especially walnut) sit alongside drinking chocolate whilst orange liqueurs and a punnet of berry fruits is pepped up by a sprinkling of ground ginger and pepper. Dry, earthiness runs throughout together with polished oak and tobacco leaves. Dilution presents sweetness alongside a syrupy texture – favouring the oloroso overt the amontillado once more – orange gel, strawberry foam sweets and a selection of reduced, sugar preserved jams.

Finish: Medium with chocolate becoming more bitter and a cask char that that’s dry and almost fizzing in quality.

Firkin Whisky’s Tullibardine 2012 is yet more proof (as if you really needed anymore) that judging a whisky by its colour is a folly. Whilst there’s a cheerful golden hue to the liquid – its profile is altogether darker with rich, animated sherry running throughout. The use of two types of sherry within one cask can sometimes feel a touch gimmicky, but here the qualities of both ably shine – both independently and together. One is sweeter and more reductive, the other nuttier and drier in character – but combined they straddle the line between sweetness and spice admirably. Oh, and it’s just plain tasty stuff too. Winning.

Review sample provided by Top Whiskies on behalf of Firkin Whisky Co.

Score: 87/100

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