Hard to believe we’ve waited so long to drink this for #WhiskyWednesday, but Talisker is a wee tad special to us. The beautiful Skye distillery, no longer the only one, is situated on the Minginish Peninsula and named for the original founder’s estate 5 miles out of the village, back when you could start what would become one of the greatest distilleries in the world for just £3000. We wish it was that cheap now, but then, that was 1830. According to inflation calculators, that’s £365,113.50 in today’s money - or less than 10% of what you would want to set up your own place. Not only is Talisker famed for its beautiful salinity, slight white pepper and coastal qualities, it is also credited as the favourite malt of famed Scots author Robert Louis Stevenson in the 1800s as well H.V. Morton, although will confess we’ve never really heard of him. However, there is also personal connection, as it was also the favourite whisky of Calum Rory Burt, our founder’s brother, and a firm favourite of his father’s, both of whom we have sadly lost over the years. The 57° North is by far one of our favourites from the Talisker range, now sadly discontinued. It is bottled at 57%, funnily enough, which is a nice approximation of cask strength for this beautiful bourbon casks dram.
The palate has a sweeping coastal salinity that brushes across first, with a slight shortcrust pastry base. As the first sip develops, a lightly caramelised note comes in, more caramel than crème brûlée, but somewhere in between, as well as a little bit of good quality white chocolate. There is also a nice sprinkling of white pepper, moving to a heavy, meaty peppery-ness towards the finish. On a second sip, a little of the fruits come in, with a slight hint of fresh green apple, maybe pear, towards the front edge of the palate as an upper, sunlit note. The combination of white chocolate and the slight sharpness of pepper on the tongue, white but also black, to really focus this dram into a positive delight - it is oily, but not overly so, with a slightly creamy mouthfeel - honestly, it’s a real shame this one is discontinued (and honestly, I only saw the news today 😭 - damn the price, I will be getting more!). The perfect combination of savoury, sweet, and coastal. We love everything from Talisker, but this is undoubtedly one of the best they have ever released. Slàinte! To absent friends! 🥃
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