Whisky Magazine Issue 46
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Tullibardine is a distillery crossed with a shopping centre. Can it keep whisky fans happy without alienating the general public? Our man had a look
I had distinctly high hopes of Tullibardine. It's not every day that you get to see a re-opened distillery and a brand new visitor operation – and one that's going to be very important at that.
I'd better explain. Tullibardine may not be the best known of malts, but the distillery enjoys a fabulous location right on the main A9, around 20 miles below Perth. It's an easy hour's drive from Glasgow and less than a decent pitch and putt from the luxurious Gleneagles Hotel and its famous golf course. The Famous Grouse Experience; Dewar's World of Whisky and Bells Blair Athol just have to be worried, for their coach-borne visitors if nothing else.
For Tullibardine will offer a full day out and threatens to be the category killer amongst Perthshire distillery visitor centres. When it's finished, supposedly by spring 2005, the complete site will have major shopping facilities, several restaurants and the Tullibardine shop, bistro and distillery.
Free on-site parking and immediate road access make for an alluring and easy visit. Many tourists will drop in at Tullibardine, take the distillery tour, pick up a bottle of malt, drink a coffee and tick off ‘distillery' on their ‘to-do' list. So, if Tullibardine is going to be that important, an ambassador for Scotland, it had better be good.
Tullibardine opened in November. But I contained my natural impatience, and decided to let things settle down a little before getting out the red pencil.
First impressions are good. It's clea...