Wednesday, 9 June 2010

#380 - A Talisker Tasting

It has been a while since my last report because I've been busy with some preparations for the Malt Maniacs Awards 2010 - and with wrapping up some more distillery profiles in the Distillery Data section. I expect to finish the refurbishment of that site section before July 1. I've also made some minor tweaks to the Beginner's Guide that make it easier to 'drill down' to other site sections for people that want to learn more about a specific
topic from one of the ten chapters. 

To cut a long story short; I haven't had any whisky for a few weeks, 
but tonight I really need a few drams; it's election night in Holland... 
As opposed to many other countries that have only two or three main
political parties, we had around a dozen different political parties in
the Dutch parliament. The first signs indicate that they will need a
coalition of at least four different parties to form a new government.
I think it's safe to say that the coming weeks will be interesting ;-)

Talisker NAS '57° North' (57%, OB, Bottled 2008)
Nose: Fairly fruity. Loads of spices; like being served a fresh dish in an Indonesian restaurant. Taste: Hot, sweet and peaty. A fairly rough centre. Hint of menthol? Hot finish. Mellows out a little with air. I was watching a TV programme while tasting this one, so I’m afraid I forgot to make many notes. Score: 87 points - I like it quite a bit, but I feel the high proof masks the youth of the whisky a bit. 

Talisker 10yo (45.8%, OB, Bottled +/- 2009)
Nose: Fruity and sweaty. Some organics. A malty component as well. Opens up after some breathing. A hint of rotting milk powder - and yes, I realise that this is a fragrance outside most people’s experience ;-) Oddly oily for a Talisker 10yo; I never found any oil in Talisker before as far as I know. Some cardboard. Taste: Sweet. Some fairly faint smoke and organics, evolving into peat. Very subtle fruits in the finish. Score: 83 points - which is a little below earlier batches, but still very respectable for a 10yo whisky. 

Talisker 25yo (54.2%, OB, Bottled 2008, 9708 Bts.)
Nose: Passion fruit, bordering on perfumy. Maybe a hint of chloride? Coffee. Cassis? Evolves quickly; more medicinal after a minute before it gradually sweetens out. Grows a little dustier. Taste: Smooth, sweet and fruity in the beginning. Tannins already emerge in the centre. Raisins too. Touches of smoke. Maybe a hint of coconut? The mouth feel is big, full and round. Yes, I like this one... Score: 88 points - which means that I like this batch exactly as much as the previous one from 2007. 

Talisker 30yo (49.5%, OB, Bottled 2008, 2970 Bts.)
Nose: Slightly uneven start; veggy and a little oily. The bouquet opens up after a minute. Fairly simple compared to the palate at first. During a second try the nose appeared light and a tad watery. Light citrus? Speculaas? The bouquet is fairly subtle, but it shows quite some development over time. Taste: Fruity start, teetering on the brink of perfumy. Passion fruits? Fairly hot and harsh in the dry finish. The finish also shows some 'aspirin' bitterness after a few minutes. A (relatively) crappy cask? Score: 82 points - recommendable, but perhaps the bouquet is just a tad too ‘bourbony’ for my tastes. 

Talimburg 20yo 1986/2006 (43.8%, The Whisky Fair, Artist Edition)
Nose: Sweetish and a little sweaty.
Perhaps a tad rubbery? Anthracite and some subtle organics. Taste: Smooth and soft start, before liquorice and some smoke emerge. Sweeter towards the finish. Score: 86 points - I had it at 87 points for a long time, but the finish grew a little too dry for me. 

Talisker 26yo 1975/2002 (44.7%, Douglas Laing for Cöpenicker WH, 'Tactical', 294 Bts.) Nose: Cassis. It’s fruity for a minute before it grows oilier. Powerful start, but it loses some steam quickly. Taste: Sweet pastry. More phenols in the centre. Wonderful mouth feel. Feels stronger than its actual ABV. In fact, the longer you keep this whisky in your mouth, the more powerful it becomes. Light tannins. Score: 85 points - perhaps not terribly impressive given its ripe old age, but still highly recommendable.  

And that's already 'it' - time to call it a night... 

Sweet drams...