Ale to the King.

Edinburgh's quality beer and ale review and culture site.

Review: Tullibardine 1488 Whisky Beer

Beer: Tullibardine 1855 Whisky Beer
Brewery: Tullibardine Distillery (Blackford)
Type: Whisky Ale/English Strong Ale
Served: Bottled
Alc: 7% Vol
Album listened to while reviewing:  Gods of War by Manowar (2007)

Here we have a whisky beer that has a lot of bravado, but will only deliver if you drink it in a certain way.

Tullibardine 1488 Whisky Beer, as I’m sure we’ve oft come across, is one of those beers that believes the fact its got whisky in it makes it a superior tipple and unfortunately relies on that a little too much. Its not the fact the whisky element is a disappointment, far from it, its definitely got a kick on the mid and aftertaste that doesn’t leave your palate for a decent amount of time. While I can’t comment on the quality of the whisky itself, it is what pulls the beer through.

But as already said, its a beer that wants you to drink it it’s way. Its a beer that tastes far better on the swig than the sip. A swig rushes all the elements together and gathers them like miniature clouds under an umbrella of whisky in an enjoyable but not overly special sensation dominated by the spirit. There’s underlying notes of lemon-grass and sun-dried tomato poking through, but its mostly the whisky’s show.

On the sip there’s a very slight fizz, quite pleasant and delicate. The foretaste is golden and very mild and its matched nicely by the nose. This is probably its most stand out element. The foretaste, and especially the smell, are very wet. Not wet by virtue of the fact it’s a liquid, but wet in the same way that Wuthering Heights or Black Death feel wet. Its a very definite, organic, natural wetness as well. Its the wetness of a field, mud under damp straw crushed underfoot of your soggy, slobbering Irish Wolfhound by your side with a sodden stick in his mouth.

Continuing to sip the whisky note’s dominance subsides to give way to a fresh lemon that begins to permeate the taste. There’s also an increasingly annoying cloying round the mouth that couldn’t be dislodged by a thick German sausage sandwich with Tabasco.

And that’s the problem, its overconfident where it shouldn’t be and relies too much on the incorrect belief of the superiority of whisky (if I wanted a whisky, I’d drink a whisky). But what’s left in behind is just annoyance.

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