I work in an imported beer store, I sell wholesale to the public and due to that alcohol is a large part of my daily life.
Conversations revolve around it, days revolve around it, sometimes even weeks revolve around it.
But many of my customers know me for a passionate whisky fiend who's always experimenting and trying new whiskies all the time and due to the price of alcohol in Australia I found myself answering quite a few questions about not beer, but whisky instead.
What whiskies are good? What whiskies would I, the customer like? Is that whisky really worth that price?
So I brought in a couple whisky samples for a couple of my regulars to try, to see if they'd like something in that style, what whiskies they might like, would they actually like whisky or did they just think they liked whisky, etc
I might have cheated considering that I gave them samples of Thomas H Handy 2011 and Balvenie 21 yr old Portwood.
But they loved them.
So I suggested that if they were interested we could possibly start up a whisky club.
Everyone was interested.
We set up a meet for a Saturday evening get together at the local whisky bar, just one of my regulars, a friend of his, my brother in law and myself.
My brother in law and I are the first to arrive so e start ourselves off with an opening dram and then after about 20 or so minutes we're joined by my regular and his friend.
We chat whisky, distilleries, styles, personal histories, all that good stuff and eventually my brother in law and I decide we're ready for a second whisky.
I go with Talisker 18 yr old, he goes with Longrow 7 Year Old Gaja Barolo Wood.
Now Talisker is one of my favorite distilleries out there. It holds a special place in my heart as the 10 yr old was the only whisky my wife and I could afford on our first wedding anniversary.
The 10 yr old is one of the few whiskies that you can always find in my cabinet.
I've been hearing good things about the 18 yr old for quite a while now, but I'd never had a chance to try it so hear it goes!
They bring out the whisky in a tasting glass, very similar to a glencairn and I eagerly give it a nose.
It's the typical peaty smokey nose that I expect. But it's refined, with lots of sexy notes to it. Some sweet fruit, nothing that I could put my finger on, but sweet with hints of iodine and sea salt. Oh so sexy.
It's close to the 10 yr old in nose, but it's been made ever so much more elegant.
Time for a taste though!
Peppery, without the intensity of the 10 yr old, with smoke and peat, then it gets more spicy as some coffee and sweet toffee becomes apparent, and all through it comes my beloved Talisker peppers.
A BEAUTIFUL long sexy peppery Talisker finish with hints of salt.
Oh god I've waited so long to try this bad boy, and it was completely worth it. It reaffirms my love for this distillery and doubly reaffirms my determination to come home from Scotland with an older age or cask strength expression from this distillery.
Sadly in Australia you can expect to pay close to $175 or more which while I love this whisky I do think is a wee bit pricey. Definitely a bit pricey to make it an every day dram. However if you've never gotten a chance to taste this expression and you enjoy the 10 yr old, don't pass up a chance to grab a taste of this!