Tullibardine Distillery founded in 1949, the same year as Mike Collings, the Firkin Founder. The distillery is at the gateway to the Highlands, close by the Ochil Hills about 50 miles north-west of Edinburgh
To make this Firkin 49 whisky, Mike took a 2012 Tullibabardine matured in a first fill Bourbon barrel, which is a pretty good dram.
But with the magic of two types of sherry and his custom casks, he transformed it into an outstanding whisky.
Tullibardine Distillery History
In the 17th century, The Ochil Hills enjoyed a mini gold rush. What makes it a mini gold rush? Well, it’s all the minors, of course.
The gold rush in The Ochil Hills, North of Stirling, was short-lived. But it was great while it lasted.
Luckily the liquid gold was long-lasting. This is the tale of Tullibardine distillery & Firkin 49 single cask single malt
Tullibardine and Mike Collings, our founder, share a birth year. But, it might raise an eyebrow or two when you find out the distiller dates back to 1489. When we say, Mike has a lot of experience. We’re not joking around.
While the distillery site dates to 1489, its production didn’t start until 1798.
And it stopped a year later.
Not a great start.
Andrew Bannerman gave distilling at Tullibardine a go in 1814, a year before Waterloo. More successful this time, production lasted until 1835.
Tullibardine fell silent. Then William Delme- Evans, the great distillery architect, built a new distillery in 1949. Mike was also born in 1949, not 1489.
The distillery continued until 1994 when it again became silent. Tullibardine made its triumphant return to distilling in 2003.
Tullibardine used some tired barrels for its earlier vintages, 1970-1994. And, well, the whisky wasn’t great. Tullibardine start to thrive and shine under new ownership in 2003. This whisky is from 2012.
The only thing better than one sherry is two sherries
This is a soft and somewhat creamy whisky. Mike paired this Tullibardine with two styles of sherry: nutty Amontillado and a rich Oloroso. Edgar Alan Poe made Amontillado sherry famous. It is a fascinating evolution of the Fino sherry style.
The Flor process (yeast fermentation & covering in the barrel) produced both sherry styles. But the Amontillado goes a step further. Amontillado’s ageing and oxidation develops into a unique dry & nutty flavour.
The 50 /50 combination of Amontillado and Oloroso sherries gives you a unique profile. It’s creamy, rounded and nutty, with elements of dried fruit.
The sherries, combined with our custom-made double oak casks, results is a stunning new take on Tullibardine. It’s an excellent combination of creamy malt, nuttiness and richness.
It’s so soft & nutty; Firkin 49 Single Cask Single malt is extraordinary Firkin whisky.
This is a cracker. It’s long, narrow and jam-packed with creamy butterscotch toffee. It has crisp malt and some fruit oak that hangs around with a tad of cinnamon and sweet biscuit.
A Firkin charmer indeed!
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Written by Mike Collings & Evan Hirsch
Mike Collings founded The Firkin Whisky Company and Imperial Tribute. Over his 40 years in the whisky industry, he created Johnnie Walker Blue & Green Labels, The Classic Malts, Rare Malts, Distillers Edition, Flora & Fauna series, Cardhu and Royal Lochnagar.
Evan co-founded TopWhiskies. TopWhiskies helps you find the best whisky from unique and independent brands. You're probably heard about it because it's the website you're on right now.