Dram Review: Talisker The Bodega Series Aged 40 Years

[50.0%・Bottled In 2018・40 Years Old・Original Bottling・Limited Release of 2,000 Bottles]

Nose:

Fairly diligently woody that’s perhaps slightly on the damp side. Dark fruits faintly lingering in the background with the cherries giving a brightness that gels well with the wood. There are hints of plastic and pepper as the ripe fruits and berries continue to build on the oak, aged dried lemon peels subtly land on the pine wood, evoking a musky vibe from a well aged fortified cask. In the background a very soft layer of sea salt and barley with a vague umami note as this barely noticeable smoke draw out some cinnamon scroll.

Palate & Finish:

The Amontillado casks have presumably gift this brightness of passion fruit, sultana, elderflower and dried mango slices as the oak and faint smoke reach out to apply for a brush of tannin led bitterness. Pepper dancing as the creamy Sherry moves in together with some dark honey.

The fine strokes of smoke and barley tenderly elongate the tail with traces of brine and dried peat marrying hint of passion fruit.

Thoughts:

The whisky had been finished for a few months in a 40 year old plus Amontillado cask. Now there seems to be a common narrative that “finishing is cheating” and the sole purpose of finishing is to fix a poor whisky, in many cases common wisdom would prevail; but for me, as an exception this has been beautifully edited despite lacking this certain natural vulnerability some aged whiskies possess.

The pasting of the aged Sherry layer over the base whisky really adds to the depth and elevates what I would have imagined would be an otherwise flawless whisky.

Simply put, this works.

Thank you Ricky for sharing this dram with us.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas