Tullibardine, along the A9 halfway between Stirling and Perth, is sometimes called the ugly duck among distilleries. It looks like building blocks without a pagoda. But that says little – actually nothing – about the quality of their spirit. This one was distilled in 1993 and bottled at cask strength in Bartel Rawlings International’s Highland Laird series after a long beauty sleep of 22 years. The nose is fruity on pineapple, pink grapefruit and coconut, but also has a heavy herbal side. It’s all about liquorice wood. Loads of sweet malt and a touch of Pink Lady apples. It has a lovely, somewhat rough structure, on the palate with loads of wood and spices. Then the fruit shines through. Pepper, liquorice, cumin and cloves precede the grapefruit and apples. In that sense, it is a fine continuation of the nose, but with a bigger spiciness. The finish is medium long on more of the same. Not a bad Tullibardine, especially well balanced on the palate, but rather straightforward with no surprises. Thanks for the sample, Peter.