Tasting Notes by Whiskyfun (Serge Valentin)
After the rare and quite fabulous 34yo 1975 for Asia from last year, here’s a 35! Colour: gold.
Nose: Hey hey, this one really reminds me of the older ones from the early 1950s (G&M’s), with this very peculiar combination of soft almondy touches (between marzipan and linseed oil) and a sooty smokiness plus notes of quince jelly, plums, tangerines and leather cream. Soft and as complex as an old Montrachet (if I may say so, sorry about all these wine references but its quicker and easier). With water: s.t.u.n.n.i.n.g. It’s hard to imagine a nicer nose, unless you’re fiercely against peat, zesty tropical fruits and some kind of almond(-iness).
Mouth (neat): Ah yes! Many old peaters tend to lose their, well, peat when becoming older but that’s not the case here, not at all. So it’s very peaty and medicinal, with a perfect balance, a perfect mouth feel and a perfect fruitiness, blending passion fruits and lemons. Extremely good – but that was to be expected. Great feeling of fullness, it’s all perfectly integrated, like in Mona Lisa’s portrait. More oomph on the palate than on the nose (not Mona Lisa’s). With water: please call our friends from the anti-maltoporn brigade!
Finish: Maybe not the longest but the freshness is impressive. Oysters, pepper and lemon, the perfect combo. Smoked fish in the aftertaste.
Comments: Punters like me will probably talk more about the new Port Ellen, the new Brora and the new Lagavulin, but this Talisker has got this je ne sais quoi that the others don’t quite have, or have to a lesser degree. Maybe that’s what we could call ‘an elegant fullness’? SGP:566 - 94 points.
Tasting Notes by Tim FNose:
Medicinal, bandages, some orangey fruit. Wet burnt wood. Then more fruit and also some earthy vegetal notes, TCP and slightly burnt toast.Palate:
Sweet attack, then very intense pepper. Develops sweet grapefruit and big bonfire flavours, all on a big bed of oak. Pleasing oily texture. Rich in flavour but relatively mild in mouthfeel despite the strength.Finish:
Not as over-oaky as I worried it might be. Easy to drink – doesn’t taste like a mid-fifties abv cask strength whisky.Comment:
I generally prefer the 25yo to the 30yo Taliskers, so worried this would be too woody. Not so – it’s a very good whisky, maybe even a great whisky.
Tasting Notes by Billy ANose:
Floral and waxy with a light brininess, super sweet caramel notes and an edge of damp hay.Palate:
Sweet up front with a big hit of sticky black liquorice, and sweet floral and fruity notes, balanced by a back end of dark wood and treacle toffee.Finish:
Mint, menthol, polished wood and sour citrus.Comment:
Looking back on these notes it seems like a heavy whisky, but the main punch was the lighter, sweeter notes, with the darker flavours just adding depth. Lighter and fresher than I thought it would be, and along the lines of the recent 25 and 30 year old releases.
: Rich amber. Thick beading.Nose
: Very reserved, gentle and shy at first. Warm it slightly in the hands and wait, or agitate, then the true Talisker character develops. Now the nose-feel is distinctly spicy; beach smells or orange pomander in the foreground, dried chilli pepper behind and shavings of sandalwood in between. Broader and sweeter with a drop of water, which raises fresh red berries and warming, toasted oakwood; the spice is suppressed now, with cooling peppermint and cinnamon.Body
: Filling and firm. Oily.Palate
: Drinks perfectly straight, with an oily mouthfeel, a thick texture and a most appealing sweet and salty flavour. Fiery, yet rich and charged with lovely ripe autumn fruit and notes of moist fruitcake: warming hints of eucalyptus too. Becomes sweeter with just a drop of water, as the top notes are softened. Rich caramel notes; as with smooth, rich fine milk chocolate.Finish
: Long, smooth (waxy) and very rich, tingling with late spice. With water, fresh cut wood and a spicy note of coal smoke, as from a cigar box. Late, fresh red apples too.