Friday, January 09, 2009
Island Single Malt Whisky bot. 2004
Readers of this blog will know I am not a peat freak but I do find Talisker to have the most sublime balance of sweetness and peatiness, so much so that I picked the 10yo and the 18yo as two of the best whiskies I ever tried here on the mission (The Tops So Far II). Yes, some find it too sweet, but that is the is part of the fun! If we all agreed, tasting and sharing impressions would be a pretty boring exercise. Perhaps, for some, it remains so.
I had a great email from a guy some time ago asking "what does Talisker mean?" cuz it was one of his names. The name Talisker comes from "Thallas Geir", meaning "sloping rock/land of stones". It is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye and it receives over 40,000 visitors per year. One visitor was Robert Louis Stevenson, who refered to it in A Scotsman's Return from Abroad(1880), writing, "....the King o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet." Worth noting, of course, that at the time "Islay" and "Glenlivet" would have referred to areas of production (the isle of Islay and the region of Speyside) and thus Talisker is the sole named distillery dubbed "the King o' drinks."
Had a more recent bottling of this expression back HERE. For more distillery info and for all Taliskers had on the mission, click HERE.
Initially bright, liquid sunshine, but dry. Then gets juicy with cream, cloves, and shortbread. Aromatic sweet and fruity smokiness like pipe smoke, some synthetic fruitiness like shampoo or green gummy bears. Smoke again and still.
Big and bourbony, but salty. Grows sweet and creamy with emerging spices (cloves again, white pepper?) and a lemony brininess. The smokiness is very earthy, like burnt celeriac or parsnips.
First impressions left me wanting more in the finish, a final denoument in the realm of sweet but all I get is oak and vegatal smokiness. So be it. A punchy and bright Talisker even at such a ripe old age. Currently 20% off at The Whisky Exchange.
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