Last weekend I went to my first real whiskyfestival. It was great fun and I tasted a lot of beautiful whiskies as Bunnahabhain 18 year old, Douglas of Drumlanrig Littlemill 17 year old, two great Clan Denny 100% Grains (Cambus 29yo and Girvan 45yo), but I also visited the Talisker Masterclass hosted by Ronald Anneveld. While the Talisker 10 year old is the whisky that made me fall in love with the beautiful product whisky is I was very curious about the line up. We tasted six Talisker’s in just one hour, so unfortunately it went way to fast. According the time line my notes are somewhat short, but good enough to publish them on my blog without any scoring though!
Talisker 10 year old (45,8%)
Off course we started with the 10 year old, the beautiful spicy, somewhat smoky, peaty nose immediately made me feel very relaxed. The taste was off course the famous Talisker peppery accompanied by some coastal notes and a light refreshing citrus note. The finish is long, warming, and spicy with just a tiny bit of sweetness. It is a heck of a dram very balanced and warming!
Talisker Double Matured Distillers Edition (45,8%)
The colour is immediately showing the double maturation, there is definitely some sherry influence. It is matured for between 8-10 months on a non cleansed oloroso sherry cask (Jerez Amaroso Cask). It is sweeter than the 10, but the spiciness and peppery Talisker style still exists. It has more nutty and chocolate influence in both the nose and the taste. The nose is displaying less smoke and coastal influence than the 10, but in the taste these are more than present. Good balance, sherry is not overpowering the distinct flavours of what you would expect from a Talisker, but gives a sweeter note to the dram. Great dram for a cold winter day!
Talisker 18 year old (45,8%)
Age comes with more fruitiness. The nose is definitely sweeter with some prune influence, dried orange peel and some tobacco. The smoke needs time to develop but is still present, but in a somewhat softer way. The spiciness is gentler present but develops more in the glass. Very nice dram, it feels more “rounded” although I hate that term, it describes the feeling well.
Talisker 57 North (57%)
I was warned about this one before we even started. It starts with somewhat more sweetness in the nose, although the alcohol delivers some punch already. It has a beautiful smokiness to it with some coastal hints (seaweed, fleur de sell, and some iodine). Then the taste… well wow! The dram explodes in your mouth in a very beautiful and powerful taste explosion of smoke, some peat, lots of chilli pepper and some balancing sweetness. Although I was warned I didn’t expect this taste explosion in my mouth. Don’t know what to say, but boy what an extreme excellent dram this is! Going high on my wish list!
Talisker 25 year old (57,8%)
This Talisker displays the same feeling as did the 18 year old: Aging made the Talisker somewhat softer, more rounded and much less explosive as the 10 year old and a lot less than the 57 North. It still has the spiciness as all the Talisker have, again with a light smokiness, but also displaying more fruit on the nose. A gentler Talisker than all of the above. Very good dram.
Talisker 30 year old (50,7%)
This one feels tired, as if it has been matured to long. It is much softer, but it lost a great part of the things I like a lot in the Talisker 10 or 57 North. Due to time issues we didn’t have much time to taste this one very good. Feels like this one is much less exciting than the former ones.
For me again age doesn’t mean a thing, the younger ones are more appealing to me even without taking price in the equation. Bringing back the line-up to my favourite order at that time and that particular place: 57 North comes first, followed by the 18 year old, the 10 year old, the Double Matured, the 25 and the 30 year. This doesn’t mean the 30 year is a bad whisky. It feels like when giving a proper time it easily could score mid 80’s giving a hint about what the 57North would score. I own the 10yo and the 18yo; probably the 57 North will be added in the future.