Listen up! This is the oldest Talisker ever bottled. This spirit from the oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye matured for no less than 44 years. Ten special ‘marine charred casks’ were bottled, which together yielded only 1.997 bottles at a cask strength of 49.1%. Those casks were present on a ship that undertook an expedition to one of the world's largest kelp forests near the Cape of Good Hope and were then charred with sustainably harvested seaweed from Scotland. Hence the nickname Forests of the Deep. Like 2021's 43-year-old Xpedition Oak, this release is a partnership with Parley, an organization dedicated to protecting our oceans. Needless to say, I'm excited to ty this. I have put myself in seclusion – quite literally – for over an hour.
OMG... That nose... It starts with the typical trinity that typifies Talisker: salt, pepper and citrus fruit. Then follow dark sweet notes of toffee and overripe peach. Toasted oak. You can smell the seaweed, really! A light touch of iodine and sea salt. A warm sandy beach where thunder clouds begin to gather above. A fire pit that is almost extinguished. Jute bags. Ship's rope. An old fishing boat bobbing gently against the quay. After a few minutes of breathing, something umami emerges. A brown toast with lamb pâté. Lobster on the grill. Hazelnuts. Salted caramel. This is exceptionally aromatic and particularly complex.
Deliciously oily, almost greasy. Immediately deliciously seasoned (salt and pepper) and intense in terms of smokiness. Yes, that smokiness is really great. It provides a nice, warm feeling in the mouth. Succulent. Just as umami on taste as I had on the nose. The sweetness is inferior, though. This Talisker is layered with both sweet and salty notes. Intense taste sensation!
The finish is nothing short of brilliant. This Talisker still sizzles for a long time with that soft smokiness and both sweet and salty notes.
I feel privileged to have received a sample of this from Diageo. With a worldwide circulation of less than 2,000 bottles – with a price tag of around 4,500 EUR – few people are given the opportunity to taste this malt.