Tullibardine 1488 (Scotland)

Tullibardine 1488, (Perthshire, Scotland)

Best to worst:

  1. Strong Ale, B-
  2. Blonde Ale, B-
  3. Traditional Ale, D+

On the back labels:

“The Tullibardine distillery sits on the site of Scotland’s first ever brewery, a purveyor of the BEER enjoying the royal patronage of King James IV after his coronation in 1488. This remarkable Tullibardine 1488 Whisky Beer is brewed with the crystal spring water and malted barley used in the distillation process. It is conditioned in individually numbered oak casks which have been used in the maturation of the majestic Tullibardine single malt Scotch Whisky, it’s distinctive character beautifully balanced by the lightness of touch so familiar to Tullibardine connoisseurs the world over. This truly majestic BEER is best served chilled and enjoyed slowly.

1) Blonde Ale, 4% ABV

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: good complexity for a 4% beer
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek, 2010
  • How much: ~$6, 500ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: Yes

Tasting Notes: pours slightly cloudy cherry wood red, smallish head, micro CO2, ringed retention, a bit of sticky lacing, varied slow-moving CO2 streams, lees at bottom of the glass. Some citrus fruity malts and caramel on the nose. 1st sip is sickly 9/10 sweet. Next few sips drinks tangy 4/10 sour up front, transitions into lightly malted 7/10 sweet carbonated caramel and sour cherries, finishing off-dry oaky bitter. Carbonation is not exactly creamy but more like tingly and is active throughout. One thing that I don’t particularly like is the hint of barnyard/puke-flavour right at the start mixed with sourness. Medium complexity, medium depth, medium-long length, good transitions, good carry, very drinkable. Well-done on a surprisingly low ABV beer.

2) Traditional Ale, 4.5% ABV

My Notes:

  • My Rating: D+
  • Why I don’t like it: watery and tasteless
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek, 2010
  • How much: ~$6, 500ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No way

Tasting Notes: pours beer bottle brown, almost no head, micro CO2, minimal lacing, slow-moving CO2 streams, thin ringed retention. A bit of malt on the nose. Starts off very much like a light beer (ie. Coors light), caramel malts in the mids, finishes barely bitter. A very underwhelming flavour profile – almost nothing there except a bit of malt, barley and minor red fruit. Tingly CO2 throughout. Low complexity, low depth, low carry, okay transitions, okay drinkability. Pass on this one.

3) Strong Ale, 5% ABV

My Notes:

  • My Rating: B-
  • Why I like it: smooth drinking
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek, 2010
  • How much: ~$6, 500ml
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: pours coffee brown, mild head, micro CO2, ringed retention, more lacing than the blonde, no lees. Coffee’d malts, slight nuttiness and caramel on the nose. Drinks slightly creamier than the blonde, 5/10 sweetness up front, mild 2/10 sourness, light caramel and red fieldberry-fruit (strawberry/raspberry) in the mids, very mild barley bitter and oaked finish. Finishes watery however. Low-medium complexity, medium depth, average length, good transitions, good carry, good drinkability. A very clean and deceptively red-fruity yet dark ale. Not as complex as the blonde but cleaner throughout.