Head to head reviews are one of the whisky geek goals and it’s always a great satisfaction when you manage to do so – putting old version of whisky vs the new version and finding out how they differ one from each other always makes me happy.
Last week there was a local whisky event which I sadly couldn’t attend and in the event they had put head to head the two versions of Tullibardine Sauternes Finish bottlings. However, samples did find their way to me so let’s go ahead and see who wins the battle.
Tullibardine Sauternes Finish (46%, 36.00 €)
Nose: Fizzy and jumpy nose, vanilla, malt and new make notes, spicy background with lots of black pepper hints, oranges and lemon peels, oak. Overall it feels a bit rough and unpolished.
Palate: Spirity with bit of oak, then sweet oranges jam, toward the end it’s even sweeter with vanilla
Finish: Medium length, oak wood spices, with sweet oranges juice.
Tullibardine 225 Sauternes Cask Finish (43%, £38.56)
Nose: Very similar to the old version with fizzy nose, vanilla and pepper, the citrus peels notes are a bit stronger here and overall it’s a bit more rounded and polished.
Palate: Starts spicy, bit of spirity note (less than old version), then we have the sweet oranges jam and some sprinkle of
Finish: Medium finish, with mostly spices, some oak wood and lingering sweetness.
Conclusion: The newer version is a bit better than the old one. But the truth is that the difference is not enough. both are not polished enough and are a bit rough at edge. The Sauternes impact is there but is can’t hide the fact that it’s not good enough at the current state/age. There are older expressions and I wonder if those are better (showing that more seasoning is what required) or not (distillation not for my taste buds).