Latest update: November 6th 2009
TULLIBARDINE DISTILLERY PICTURES
Revisiting Tullibardine, a lot has changed the distillery has gone from an independent company into the hands of the French based Picard. The distillery closed down the restaurant/café, so they can put all their attention to making whisky.
The distillery prospers since the reopening in 2003, and although the changes in ownership things are going well.
Only downside, it wasn’t allowed anymore to take pictures inside the distillery.
The pictures in the slide show at the right, were taken by Frans Brouwer – The Whisky Friend. The pictures are used with kind permission from him.
The pictures in the slide show at the left, were taken by Frans Brouwer – The Whisky Friend, and his travelling companion Hennie van Staden. The pictures are used with kind permission from him.
When you turn of the A9 from Stirling to Perth, to visit the town of Blackford, you see the Tullibardine distillery to your right. The distillery is set next to a retail outlet, of which the visitor centre of the distillery is part.
The distillery looks quite small, but when you go inside it will get clear why. The location held a brewery up until 1947, when it was bought by William Delme Evans. He rebuilt it to a distillery and did this maximum efficency. The mash tun, wash backs and stills are all in one room, so controling the processes was quite easy. The distillery is still set up like this and although Delme Evans sold the distillery in 1953, he stayed in touch with the distillery until his death in 2003. His technical skills were also used in the Jura and Glenallachie distillery.
The stills were set up with 2 condensors each to maximise heat exchange. This is the only distillery where I have seen this until now.
The distillery was mothballed in 1995, and it took until December 2003 when distilling started again under the current owners. In November 2004 the new visitor centre was opened, named 1488. The name derrives from the year that King James IV celebrated his coronation and purchased beer from the brewery that was situated at the location where the distillery is now. Besides a shop where you can buy all the whiskies and a range of Scottish related gifts, there is a restaurant on the first floor. In this fully licensed restaurant, named Cafe 1488, you can have hot and cold meals and a range of drinks.
When I visited the distillery they were working on the ground floor to add a coffee shop, in the back of the visitor shop.
Beside the Tullibardine whisky, there is 1488 ale available at the distillery. At the time that I visited there were also still John Black blended malts available. There is a “peaty” and a “honey” version, but sadly enough they will be discontinued.
The distillery is located quite nicely between Stirling and Perth and also within range of Edinburgh and Glasgow and is certainly worth a visit.