June 2018 Whisky of the Month:
Tullibardine The Murray 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape has it all: stunning looks (deep russet), a wonderful assortment of aromas on the nose (lots of juicy red fruits and spice), and incredible body and character (think classic Tulli freshness layered with cherry fruits and mint chocolate), plus that certain malty magic you just know when you taste it.
Our massively popular, multi-gold-medal-winning Tullibardine The Murray 2004 from last year has had a Châteauneuf-du-Pape upgrade. And it’s truly extraordinary. Even richer and more complex from its second maturation in exquisite Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine barriques, it was bottled this March just in time to hit the water fresh for our June delivery. In our excitement we first let the cat out of the bag on this one back in July ’17 and now it’s finally here! Indeed the team back at Tullibardine are just as excited as we are, and John Torrence, the Distillery Manager, has sent a personal introduction to the malt for you to view here.
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Country of Origin:
There’s gold in them there hills. Formed over 400 million years ago, the basalt and red sandstone Ochil Hills that surround the Tullibardine Distillery are as well-known for the gold that was mined from them as for the liquid gold their waters become. It takes 15 years for water to permeate through the layers of stone to reach the pristine Dannie Burn, the spring from which the distillery takes its water, and the same source for the famous Highland Spring mineral water.
Located in Blackford, the gateway to the Highlands, and next to the Gleneagles Golf Course, Tullibardine is one of the oldest locations for brewing and distilling in Scotland. In 1488, it was here that the young King James IV of Scotland stopped by before his coronation to purchase beer from the local brewery. This significant action has gone down in history as the first public purchase of beer, though you can only imagine how different the transaction may have looked compared to how we purchase beer today!
Still going strong in 1503, the brewery received the first Royal Charter issued by James IV in recognition of the fine beer produced at Tullibardine, and there’ve been breweries and distilleries operating at the location ever since.
Whisky production started at Tullibardine in 1947 when industry legend William Delm-Evans visited the area to investigate the fresh spring water. Delm-Evans is one the 20th century’s leading distillery designers and his focus on energy efficiency and his mission to create an up-to-date ‘gravity-flow distillery’ put him many years ahead of his peers. Unsurprisingly when he discovered just how good the water was, William immediately realised he’d found the perfect location for distilling whisky and began converting the brewery buildings accordingly. The first spirit was distilled in 1949 and signified a new chapter in Scotch whisky history as this was the first distillery to be built in the 20th century, and the first since the Pattinson Crisis. He saw excellent returns on his investment thanks to the 1950s whisky boom and sold to Brodie Hepburn in 1953 before going on to design and build both the Jura and Glenallachie distilleries.
Brodie Hepburn continued production for the next few decades using the original two stills and maturing in sherry casks before they were bought by Invergordon Distillers in 1973 who increased capacity to three million litres with the addition of two more stills. Sadly, the distillery was mothballed in 1994 when Whyte & Mackay bought Invergordon and lay silent until 2003, when it was purchased and revived by local business partners Michael Beamish and Douglas Ross who did an excellent job reviving the distillery and laying the groundwork for developing Tullibardine into a leading single malt house. Their efforts didn’t go unnoticed and in 2011 Tullibardine was purchased by a family company, Picard Vins & Spiritueux, who were already heavily involved in the whisky industry in France. Since taking over, Picard have invested significantly in further developing Tullibardine’s single malt releases, much to the praise and delight of critics and fans across the world, firmly establishing the distillery as a leading single malt house.
Last August we introduced the first new Tullibardine to Australia in over a decade, Tullibadine The Murray 2004, and this year as promised we’re delighted to present the highly anticipated evolution in The Murray’s award-winning legacy, The Murray 2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and it’s a belter!
About Tullibardine Single Malt Whisky:
Tullibardine Distillery was originally set up to produce malt whisky for use by blenders and operated this model until it was mothballed by Whyte & Mackay in 1994. It produced a light, nutty spirit and while the main focus was on blending, a few single malt releases came to market, most notably a 10 Year Old during the 1990s – which is highly collectable, so snap it up if you ever come across one!
When Michael Beamish and Douglas Ross revived Tullibardine in 2003 it was with the intention of making it into a respectable single malt house and they did a very good job of it. Initially a few adjustments were required to get the flavour profile just right; the spirit run was tweaked to introduce more high-toned floral notes while the nutty notes were reduced, but the biggest challenge by far was an extensive re-casking operation to move much of the whisky from old, tired casks into fresh casks that would bring out the best in the spirit. Tullibardine’s fortunes were further bolstered when Picard took over in 2011. The well-funded family owners brought an influx of cash and crucial access to a huge variety of excellent casks thanks to their wine connections in France, which were used to great effect in popular releases like the Sauternes Finish, Burgundy Finish and indeed our June malt.
Our whisky this month is the next evolution of the The Marquess Collection, a limited edition luxury collection of annual releases showcasing the best casks from Tullibardine. The collection is named after the many historical figures that have over the centuries held the title of Marquess of Tullibardine and the current instalment celebrates Sir William Murray, The Second Marquess of Tullibardine.
The 2005 Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the highly anticipated follow on from the multi-gold-medal-winning 2004 Murray. Barrelled in 2005 it was initially matured in first-fill American oak ex-bourbon casks before undergoing a six month maturation in specially selected first fill Châteauneuf-du-Pape red wine barriques from the Rhône craft winery, Grandes Serres, before bottling in 2018.
This double maturation has resulted in a dangerously quaffable whisky by layering Tullibardine’s signature fresh, sweet and spicy style with juicy red fruit notes. Deep russet in colour, the nose is equally fresh and playful with an abundance of red fruits; raspberries, blackcurrant, blackberries, cherries and grapes. Hints of spice and toffee come through. It’s big and full on the palate with red fruits, spice and delicious mint chocolate, leaving you with an enduring, warm finish with more mint chocolate, barley and just a touch of spice.
The never-to-be-repeated Limited Edition Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a must-have for your whisky collection, and your glass.
$115 per bottle + $15 postage
Age on release:
Matured for 12-and-a-half years in first fill American oak ex-bourbon casks before a further six month maturation in Châteauneuf-du-Pape casks.
Tullibardine quick facts
Place of origin: Blackford, Perthshire, PH4 1QG, Scotland
Water source: Danny Burn
Washbacks: 6 washbacks
Number of stills: 2 wash and 2 spirit
Capacity: 3,000,000 litres per annum
Colour: Deep russet.
Nose: Fresh, with an abundance of red fruits; raspberries, blackcurrant, blackberries, cherries and grapes. Hints of spice and toffee come through.
Palate: Big and full on the palate. More raspberries, blackcurrant, blackberries and cherries but this time there’s more spice and delicious mint chocolate!
Finish: Warm and enduring with mint chocolate, barley and a touch of spice.