Whisky sampling convention tends to lean towards starting a tasting evening with the softer, gentler whiskies and closing with the powerful peat monsters and higher strength or more mature whiskies. We’ve certainly played around with a few approaches and tend to more or less follow such an approach with more focus on a progression in flavour profile from more delicate and light whiskies to more forceful and robust whiskies rather than strictly age or strength.
For our May session, our host decided to go completely against such notions to explore ‘Unchartered Territory‘ with the boldest and strongest dram first, then ease up on the strength and profile as the evening progressed.
As usual, we sampled blind then revealed… and where did we begin?
Talisker 57° North 57%
- Nose – Peat, ocean spray, vanilla, sardines on saltines, dry hay, sweet barley, hint of sweet port wine
- Palate – Almost overwhelming, strong, spicy, dry kopra, turmeric bitter dry on the palate, chilly spice, pungent, sukha mirchi, a bit oily
- Finish – Warm burn, dry
- Water – Demands a few drops, really works wot water once let it settled down brings out cinnamon or more dry kopra… brings out a few more elements
Our reaction was “I’m awake now!!”
Overall found it quite challenging, a surprise, definitely not a whisky to be taken lightly. No warm fuzzy familiar dram here.
That said, the reveal was a surprise. It has been some time since we gave Talisker a chance and a change to try one at 57%.
The Talisker folks launched this whisky to celebrate Talisker being 57’ degree for latitude and attitude with strength made by the sea. In keeping with many recent releases, it has no age statement. Described on the bottle as a
“pure expression of Talisker from American Oak refill casks… Sweet to start, it explodes with smoke and volcanic pepper. Stunning with strong blue cheese such as Stilton.”
Here’s what others have to say about the Talisker 57° North:
What other whiskies did we sample in our ‘Unchartered Territory‘ evening?
- Island – Talisker 57′ North NAS 57% (this post)
- Islay – Laphroaig PX Cask NAS 48%
- Speyside – Inchgower 13 year 46% (G&MP)
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