Tullibardine 22 1972 Signatory

What was the occasion: We went out to an old favourite pub of mine that has a fun list of whiskies to celebrate gaining back my sense of smell and my 40th birthday (which I didn’t want to celebrate). This was the second whisky I had during the afternoon, in a calm climate as others enjoyed the football in a country that treats its slaves poorly. I did my best to ignore it.

What whisky did we review? Tullibardine 22 1972 Signatory, an older Tullibardine that was aged in ex-bourbon… I think. See, there’s some whiskies that the label just says “oak cask”, which means that it wasn’t from a non-oak cask, which negates very few casks out there. On the other hand, a large majority of casks used are ex-bourbon, thus my assumption.

So Signatory bought a cask from Tullibardine (or an intermediate who bought it from Tullibardine), determined it was good enough to release with their name, and brought it out.

What’s the distillery? Tullibardine is new, if it was a human it’d be part of the baby boomers.

Please hold off your spoiled fruit to throw at the screen. The distillery probably had little to do with the state of the world.

The distillery was mothballed in 1995 by Whyte & Mackay, sold to themselves in 2003 (when they started back up), and now owned by Picard Vins & Spiritueux. But this is all before that, from a time when they were still under Whyte in Mackay.. Er, Whyte AND Mackay.. The other may not be safe for work.

So it’s young. The distillery uses quite a few releases that lean on cask finishes (from my experience). They do release their own “Aged Oak Edition”, so perhaps this is the proto, independent version of it.

What’s my bias? You know when you work with someone who really tries hard, yet you know you’re going to be going over the issues with them at the end of the day? Some days they do well enough that you’re convinced they are doing better, and then the server is on fire?

Wait, did he mean server as in restaurant or as in computer? We’ll never know.

I like the odd casks that Tullibardine has used. I’ve had good releases from them… through IBs. So this has potential. Also my wife originally meant to get this as a blind whisky, and then there was a communication issue, so I knew it was a Tullibardine going in.

Whatever, let’s see how it tastes, shall we?

Price: N/A

Region: Highland

Vintage: December 21, 1972

Bottled: January 1995

Cask type: Oak Cask

Cask number 2596

Number of bottles: 230

Abv: 53.5%

Colour: 2.5Y 8/10

Nose: Whole wheat bread, peach, cardamon

Very faint. Very light. Especially given the alcohol strength. Interesting notes of cereal, fruit, and some herbal aspects, but damn that takes time.

Yikes, I should like the profile, but the ring on my face from the glass means you’re gonna have to jam your sniffer in there.

Taste: Wheat, nectarine, cloves, faint soft fruit candy

Fruity, some bread, some spice, and some faint candy notes. It’s certainly stronger than the nose, but that’s like comparing me to someone who grew up in a country without vegetables; I’m still weak, just not as weak.

I don’t hate the mix of flavours, it’s just very generic. And at 22 years old, this should be more interesting.

Finish: Coffee, cinnamon, white cake, vague nuttiness

Alright, something interesting at the end, still muted, still not working as well. It’s really too bad. Perhaps the bottle has oxidize, perhaps it was released as a meh release, and perhaps someone wanted something “light” and “smooth” with an interesting finish.

Conclusion: Muted, though some of it comes through with an interesting profile. I can see what they were going for, it’s just 2 kilometres away. For those of you in the US, that’s 2,705 walnuts away or whatever you’re using these days.

The spice is nice, it just needs some more fruity/sweet notes to round it out. I actually needed it to be a lot stronger in general. It may have been the bottle, so I’d still say maybe try a dram, but even then, it’s really light.

Maybe Tullibardine will interest me again, but this wasn’t it.


Scotch review #1613, Highland review #269, Whisky Network review #2340

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