Tullibardine The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape Finish

Tullibardine Distillery

Following swiftly on the heels of the second addition to Tullibardine’s Marquess Collection, The Murray 2005 (reviewed here), a third instalment has been announced. The first two expressions were both matured entirely in first fill ex-bourbon casks for around 12 years before being bottled at cask strength. This third expression has also been matured for around 12 years (it’s also a 2005 vintage) in first fill ex-bourbon casks, followed by a finishing period in wine barriques from Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France’s southern Rhône vineyards and bottled at 46%.

Commenting on the launch of The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Master Blender Keith Geddes said: “The Châteauneuf-du-Pape finish is an exciting development at the distillery and has matured into a beautifully rounded single malt whisky featuring an exciting spectrum of rich flavour and aroma. Experimenting with new casks is a priority for the development of our range and we’re delighted with how this malt has developed over time.”

I’ve said several times on the blog that wine finishes can be a bit hit-or-miss with me (I’ve tasted a number of quite poor Edradour wine finishes among others). Having said that, I feel that the quality of red wine finished whiskies has generally improved in the past few years, so here goes…

Tullibardine The Murray Châteauneuf-du-Pape
2005 Vintage b.2018
46% ABV
RRP £49

Nose: Damp, dusty wood, sundried tomatoes, dry leather and old baking spices. There is some fruit with raspberry compote, apricots and cherry loaf.

Palate: Very grippy tannins, with some sulphur notes, wet logs, musty, damp earth and cracked black peppercorns. There’s a little ‘red’ sweetness – cherry lips sweets and Bakewell Tarts – but only just.

Finish: Drying oak, cinnamon, and Campino sweets.

Overall: Hmmm… it’s all very heavy, woody, and spicy with not too much in the way of fruit or spirit-derived influence. I’m not sure how long the whisky spent in those Châteauneuf-du-Pape casks, but it’s a bit too long in my opinion. The liquid is dominated by these casks to the extent that there’s only a trace of light fruit to give it a hint of complexity. The previous two expressions in the Marquess Collection were much tastier, which is perhaps that’s a reflection on this spirit’s (in)ability to work with heavy wood influences? Tullibardine in bourbon casks works much better, to be honest. And there’s much better whisky out there to spend £50 on.


  1. You’re wrong about this. It is a cracking dram.

  2. Hi Rob,

    Thanks for your comment, even if you disagree with me! That’s the beauty of whisky; the subjective nature of it, and I’m glad you enjoyed this dram.


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