TullibardineSingle Malt Whisky
In 2003 Tullibardine was purchased from previous owners Whyte & Mackay by an independent consortium who swiftly brought it out of the mothballs in which it had resided since 1994. Although initial volumes were rather small, the newly-revived distillery is now approaching its not insignificant full capacity of over 2.5 million litres/year.
The distillery was originally founded in 1949 by the noted architect William Delme-Evans (who also served for some time at another Whyte & Mackay distillery, Isle of Jura), then sold to Brodie Hepburn, before being bought by Invergordon distillers in 1970. Whyte & Mackay bought Invergordon in 1993, but mothballed Tullibardine the following year during a difficult decade for the company. Thankfully both companies are now doing rather better under new ownership.
After a long period in which the only standard bottling of Tullibardine was the worthy but essentially dull 10 year-old, the new owners are pressing ahead with a Bruichladdich-esque business model, releasing a raft of (frequently wine-finished) bottlings from the back catalogue while their own new make is maturing for release in 2014. These releases are generally small batches of stock from a single vintage and most have been well-received.
Independent bottlings of Tullibardine are extremely rare, although a Connoisseur's Choice bottling from Gordon & Macphail was recently released. Michael Jackson describes the house style as 'Winey, fragrant. With pre-dinner pistachios. More sherried versions with a honeyish dessert (baklava?)'.