Thursday, November 08, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #194

Talisker 1982, 25yo
Island Single Malt Whisky

58.1% abv


During the late 1980s, DIAGEO introduced what would become the benchmark expressions of single malt whiskies from six single malt distilleries under the CLASSIC MALTS name. Without doubt, and giving credit where credit is due, this played a part in fostering the growing interest in malt whiskies during this period. One product of this surge of interest was the introduction of DIAGEO's RARE MALTS range, a series of rarer whiskies begun in 1995 but discontinued in 2005 as stocks declined, after all, RARE MALTS are by definition an exhaustible resource.

The interest in unusual, distinctive, older and unrepeatable cask strength bottling also saw a rise in the 21st century and to satisfy this demand and move some of the stocks from warehouses across Scotland, DIAGEO's SPECIAL RELEASES was born. The first of these was a 28yo Talisker in 2001, initially priced at £495 and now, if you can find the stuff, fetching at least 3 times that amount. Obviously, it was decided that these SPECIAL RELEASES were a good idea. A Port Ellen 22yo (now in it's 7th release and aged 28yo) and a Talisker 25 followed and both also sold out quickly. The demand was obviously present and the special releases have continued annually ever since. There are a total of 59 bottlings in this elite range to date. So demand is certainly present, the challenge has been to maintain supply, and the quality of that supply. By all accounts, Nick Morgan and DIAGEO have done brilliant job at this.

This 25yo Talisker is the ninth offering from the only distiller on the Isle of Skye in the Special Releases range and is one of 6,894 bottles. For more distillery info and for past expressions from Talisker had on the mission, click HERE.

Guest-tasted today by TF (cuz I wanted post on this baby and wasn't invited to the launch or get drops through the post. Oh well). Thanks, mate. With only a laugh and more clarity intended, I will translate of few of his 'local' descriptors.


Rich, sweet. Golden syrup, brown sugar, sticky home-made gingerbread, with sweet oak lurking in the background. Peat, white pepper. Clearly a few top-quality sherry casks in the mix.

All the flavours from the nose, but with an extra smack of coal and dry peat, rounded by a fabulously delicate honeysuckle. Full and rich, silky smooth but packing a great chewy, peppery punch. The spices are perfect. Finish is long, strong and somehow manages to be both brash and graceful at the same time, like a ballerina with a Mohican (British term for the hairstyle that some/most call a mowhawk). The spices and the sherry are perfectly complemented by the succulent peat.


Wow. Just stunning. Phwoarr!! (another Briticism, the kind of term you see printed across the bottom of a picture of a topless footballer/soccer player or actor from LOST, etc.). Gorgeous nose, even better on the palate! This is sumptuous stuff.

Malt Mission #191
Malt Mission #192
Malt Mission #193
Malt Mission #195

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