Tullibardine 1488 Whiskey Beer

Total Score: 5/10 BrownSugar1 Wood1 Caramel1 Tulipglass1

Tullibardine 1488 Whiskey Beer combines two of my favourite things: 1) Tullibardine, which is Gaelic for “lookout hill” – I love Gaelic dialects, and 2) 1488, the year that the Royal Netherlands Navy was formed by decree of Maximillian of Austria… who doesn’t love the Royal Netherlands Navy amiright? What? Oh yeah, beer, whiskey, I like them too. (not so) Interesting fact: Tullibardine Distillery is set in the beautiful Perthshire countryside at the gateway to the Highlands… and they don’t use computers, or email even [Luddites!] I read this on their website… wait, what?!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Unexpectedly pale for a Scotch Ale with a cloudy honey coloured body and a thin white ring of lace around the edge of the glass… it’s not uncommon to find insipid heads on > 7% ABV brews, so I tend not to detract points for that. 7/10.

S: Bit of the old butterscotch Diacetyl on the nose, stylistically this is acceptable as long as it doesn’t go overboard. There is a candi sugar sweetness upfront, sideways and all over this aroma, along with barley and woody notes… was expecting a hint of peat but then again it comes from a Highland distillery and they tend their whiskies more towards sweetness. A bit boring if I’m honest [and I am]. 5/10.

T: Hmmm, the Diacetyl is pronounced and a bit ‘tsk-tsk’ indeed. The rest is candi sugar, Werther’s Originals, and touches of wood and barley characters. As an avid and well versed Single Malt drinker I’m having a great deal of trouble picking up any whiskey notes – not good enough for a “whiskey beer”. 5/10.

M: And the disappointment continues: the mouthfeel is surprisingly watery given the ABV with a mid to light body and flat as a tack carbonation. 4/10.

D: It started out alright and went downhill from there. I really do love Scotland as a country, as brewers and distillers, and the fantastically delightful Scottish people all-round. This beer isn’t fit to represent the experience and country that is Scotland, and if you want to gauge a more accurate image of a decent Scotch Ale (or Wee Heavy as they’re also known) get your hands on, and your mouth around, a bottle of the brilliantly named (and tasting) Orkney Brewery Skull Splitter and revel in the joy of a Scottish hangover the next day – the cure: Haggis… just don’t think about how it’s made. 5/10.

Food match: Some sort of stew perhaps.

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