Strong and energetic in character; elemental in nature just as Highland and Island malts were in ‘the old days’ at this, the age when Talisker was traditionally bottled.
A straight and classic Talisker, this is a wonderfully clear sighted, powerfully fire-breathing sea-monster of a malt, with a direct and bold nature.
Appearance: Pale golden straw, with greenish lights.
Nose: The mild nose-feel gives little hint of the furious spirit soon to emerge. The top notes are sweet and maritime, an early cereal hint of porridge oats rapidly giving way to more cleansing and maritime aromas that suggest briny seaweed, crystal salt and iodine, on a base of mountain smoke. A drop of water softens things, increasing the maritime character.
Palate: A soft, oily texture and a big taste smoothly take control; almost perfumed at first yet salty and lightly sweet throughout, wonderfully peaty and smoky from the specially selected casks, this fiery sea monster has a full-on peppery catch to savour late on. Water rounds it, adding a peppery prickle across the tongue, while the profile is similar overall.
Finish: Long, warming and persistent, finishing smoky, with lingering smoky malt in the aftertaste. Even better with a dash of water.
These come with some pretty immersive web pages that you could marvel at while sipping your dram. Rather well done, those pages. This baby is said to be particularly smoky, while each expression within this year's SRs comes with a nickname, this time it is 'The Rogue Seafury'. Aren't we shaky now…
Colour: very pale white wine.
Nose: it doesn't feel like they've been using rum wood, which they did last year. We're rather experiencing an extremely narrow style, in the best sense of that expression (as some great Chablis can be narrow). A lot of mercurochrome, seawater, oysters, crushed chalk and just a load of peat. I think I had already wondered if they weren't Islayising Talisker… With water: oh this wonderful brine! Plus olive oil and a drop of mezcal. Even mezcal cannot beat this.
Mouth (neat): a total blade, sharp like a katana (whatever) and with a lot of lemon juice, brine and just 'peat'. A citrusy fruitiness too after a few seconds, perhaps citrons? Again, very simple, almost abstract, and just terrific.
With water: 4/4 (nose neat, nose diluted, palate neat, palate diluted). Stunning purity, I suppose the only thing you could do to further improve this make is wait. All the rest is total absolut ganz perfect. Finish: long, well, not that long actually but sublimely pure.
Comments: a diamond distillate, this is the perfect cut, a kind of grail that only time could further polish (you're rambling on, S.) Just add time… By the way I couldn't find any vintage but there could be one, I shall amend accordingly. Cheers Peter, you would have loved this one.