Dram Review: Cask of Distinction Talisker Select Cask Aged 27 Years Exclusively Bottled for The Whisky Big Nose (Cask No. 2088)

[58.3%・27 Years Old・Distilled in 1991・Bottled in 2018・Official Bottling・Cask No. 2088・Single Cask Release of 240 Bottles]

Nose:

The dram comes across as being especially brine-y and smoky, wood smoke from smoking rock salt rubbed bacon, an explicit dose of barbecue rub along with the oak staves. Mushed dark fruits and figs hang in the background.

Palate & Finish:

The palate packs a powerful punch from the condensed syrupy dark fruits, quite spicy as the poached figs run into squid ink and ashes. A chewy wet oak note arrives with ground pepper later on.

A seaweed-y and woody finish with the brown sugar evening out the tingling spices..

Thoughts:

This Talisker has been selected by the famed Keeper of the Quaich Mr. Steven “The Whisky Big Nose” Lin, at 27 years old and finished in a hogshead, the nosing of the dram is indeed quite distinctive and there is a certain masculine bruteness to it. I imagine this would pair quite well indeed with a heavier style cuisine.

✓ [Recommended if you like the distillery/style]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Talisker 12 Years Old (Bottled Circa 1980s)

[43.0%・12 Years Old・Bottled Circa 1980s・Official Bottling・General Release]

Nose:

Quite a bit more creamier with more Sherry influence than the current batches of Talisker entry level expressions, lovely submersion into citrus and malted barley, with sea salt and seaweed sweeping across.  Wet sand, burnt sugar and dried twigs, the ocean saltiness and minerals become more prominent to present an authentic picture of the unrefined nature of cold water hitting the Isle coast.

Palate & Finish:

Such a stupendously sweet drop, honey, toffee and marzipan sprinkled with sea salt as the peat slowly sips out to lend a bitter edge, the mid-palate boosts a slightly rougher texture, with pepper and coffee ground particularly prominent.

There is a certain dirtiness at the back end, a relaxed layer with some infusions of dried fruits and dark chocolate.

Thoughts:

Well, what can I say, this is not how I thought a Talisker would be, a really enjoyable transition of such condensed sweetness on the front palate to a more masculine, maritime, peat infused presence.

☆ [Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Talisker Aged 20 Years 1982 (Bottled in 2003)

[58.8%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1982・Bottled in 2003・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 12,000 Bottles]

Nose:

The nose sets a powerful maritime theme, fish sauce in a good aromatic manner with clean minerals as the oak presses lightly. Barbecue smoke sipping out in time and is seasoned by black pepper and lime twist.

Palate & Finish:

Quite syrupy and slightly citrus but at the same time the saltiness is well conveyed as the peat comes out, freshly shucked oysters giving that creaminess which gets dressed with pepper and dry herbs. English toffee slowly surfaces as some subtle ripe fruits also reveal themselves.

Quite a satisfying finish as the toffee fades away, washing up crisp malt, dried ginger, wood and sea salt & pepper.

Thoughts:

Maritime encapsulated. The 2002 version is magic and this is exceptionally good too.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Gordon & MacPhail Secret Stills Distillery 01 Release 02 (Talisker)

[45.0%・21 Years Old・Distilled in 1986・Bottled in 2007・Gordon & MacPhail Bottling・Limited Release of 1860 Bottles]

Nose:

On the nose it’s black forest sponge cake made with fine vanilla grain and a couple of mint leaves to dress, so soft it feels like falling on a bed of cotton. Despite the sherry influence though the maritime note still retains its prowess character. Salty with burning incense and bonfire wood crackling in the background, leading to ashy and leathery notes.
Palate & Finish:

Strawberry preserves with a dark chocolate sauce drizzling down, there is a spike of syrupy acidity followed by a spark of Sichuan spices and a mouthful of ashy peat. The gooey raisin goodness still remains though, liquor soaked orange slices that are about to be stirred into a Christmas cake mix.The chunk of peat does not just fade away, it serves as fuel that warms the chest along with a syrupy brown sugar note.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

-Nicholas

Dram Review: Talisker Aged 20 Years (Bottled in 2002)

[62.0%・20 Years Old・Distilled in 1981・Bottled in 2002・Official Bottling・Limited Release of 9000 Bottles]

I tasted this vintage Talisker a while back at Baxter Inn, where noise-cancelling earphones really came in handy.

Nose:

Smoky and earthy on the nose, aged ham and subtle meat rub spices. Toffee, almonds with notes of poached dark fruits on the back end. Let it breathe and some Chinese five-spice cured beef along with heavy oak notes surface.

Palate & Finish:

An intense sweetness upon first sip alongside the signature maritime breeze. Toffee and a subtle hint of almond butter and polished wood notes.

Full but delicate oak spices in the finish, notes of molasses, a bit nutty.

Thoughts:

A.K.A. “Seaside Gourmet Shop”..

A legendary dram worthy of every compliment.

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Nicholas