I emptied this bottle a little while ago. It was a very nice thing to do because drinking whisky of this level is always a pleasure. It was also a very unfun thing to do, because it’s not something that is easily replaced. It can be replaced, but I would need to shell out a thousand Euros to do so.
That is quite a bit more expensive than when I bought it from ‘Gall & Gall Van der Boog’, 11 years ago. It popped up in the ‘Wilde Whisky Dagen’, which was a thing back then. All whisky in the biggest liquor shop chain of the Netherlands would be discounted by some 25% (or more, in this case).
Nowadays, as far as I know, this discount over the whole inventory is no longer a thing. But, on top of that, the inventory of said chain is not overly interesting anymore, and prices tend to be so high that by discounting things by 25% they end up in the same range as most other shops.
And lastly, Gall & Gall Van der Boog no longer exists, and has mutated into Passie voor Whisky. A shop I have never physically visited, I have to shamefully admit. That has never stopped me from ordering things there, but it would be nice to go there at some point. After all, it’s just an hour’s drive away…
The nose starts very dry, with some slightly harsh smokiness. After a few seconds the whisky starts opening up with a note of black pepper, oak and dried fruits. The fruits are mostly peaches and apricots. It comes across as a very mature dram, with lots of depth. It’s slightly coastal with hints of salinity, but it’s not overly briny.
The palate has a bit of peppery heat, which isn’t strange for Talisker, but it also comes with dryness, lots of oak and a beach bonfire. The smoke is definitely present, with dried fruits in the background and quite some charcoal as well. With a bit of time it becomes more sweet,
The finish lets the heat linger for quite a while, which is rather gorgeous. It’s just enough to be highly entertaining and note enough to be uncomfortable. Dry and smoky, with hints of dried peaches, dried apples and freshly cracked black pepper.
This whisky is what makes Talisker Talisker. Apart from the slew of NAS bottlings Talisker has released over the last decade, I think that goes for both their 10 and 18 years old releases as well. They have a character and they stick to it. With this 25 year old in a very glorious way.
The mature smokiness, the notes of black pepper and some dried fruits. It all combines to ridiculous heights. The flavors work very well together. The subtle influence of sherry casks on the distillery character of pepper and beach bonfire smoke are spectacular.
The fact that 2006-25 ends up being 1981, and that being my vintage is just a cherry on top of the cake!