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Talisker 57º North

Spirit of the North

8 2490

@NozinanReview by @Nozinan

23rd Sep 2017

0

  • Nose
    ~
  • Taste
    ~
  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I picked up a 1L bottle of this at Ben Gurion airport in March of 2015. At $110 US it was extravagant (but it’s $175.50 CAD for 750 cc in Ontario at the time of writing 2.5 years later) but it was something I was keen to try. As with many of my “to try” whiskies of which I have only one bottle, it was quite a while before I was able to open it. In January I pulled a “@Talexander” (meaning I opened something special near the end of a tasting with heavy hitters (both bottles and drinkers)) when one of my friends mentioned she really liked Talisker and I said… oh, I have a 57 N!

Well, it had to be opened sometime and why not in a setting with people who will appreciate it? But it seems one of them appreciated it a lot. I expect I depleted 300-400 of that bottle that day. My one friend helped herself to 2 large glasses. When her Uber ride arrived I asked her if she wanted a sample vial (to save the rest) and she was very thankful. When I arrived with a 2 oz bottle she swallowed the 30-40 cc left in her glass in one go, and poured herself a 2 ounce sample… Oy.

Since that time I’ve shared it with my uncle once and looking back it was last opened in February. It’s just under 2/3 full and has been gassed after each opening.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I used the standard


Nose:

Neat – Fresh, fruity, syrupy. touch of peat but well-integrated. Some caramel and cinnamon spice. In the Bourbon glass the alcohol is a lot more prominent but the aromas are the same. Nice nose 22/25

With water – The fruitiness is enhanced. Less pepper, less peat. Maybe less complex but very pleasant. Empty glass retains its freshness. In the bourbon glass the nose is hotter and a little more muddled. (21.5/25)

Taste:

Neat – Spicy, peppery and sweet on first sip, dry and peppery in the development with a hint of lemon citrus (no pith). No noticeable difference in the bourbon glass. 22/25 Water didn’t seem to affect the taste much, but my attention may have been distracted. It did add some effervescence. (22.5/25)

Finish: Long, astringent, bitter with pepper fading. 22/25 The late development and finish is sweeter and peppery but not bitter with water and time. (23/25)

Balance: Nose and palate complement each other nicely. The flavours themselves are also well-balanced. 23/25

Score: Neat - 89/100 With Water: 90/100


I think this is one of the whiskies that grows in the glass the longer it’s allowed to sit. I’ve been nosing and tasting this for a couple of hours and it’s growing on me more and more.

I hope one day to be able to snag a back-up to this bottle. In the meantime, I've learned a lesson about sharing.

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24 comments

@Hewie
Hewie commented

It's a shame when you're taken advantage of but, on the plus side, she must owe you! This is one I'm yet to try - I love the standard 10 and this sounds very enticing. Sounds like a bit less peat and or smoke but still got the pepperiness of the 10?

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I also like the 10 and find this is like the 10 on steroids. Not quite the same but similar profile.

Whether she owes me, hard to say. She went to Scotland and brought back a 25 YO (I think it may have been Talisker), and for me she bought a Talisker water jug.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Air is usually a friend to Talisker 57 Degrees North. The bottle will likely get better with time open.

It is so ironic to me that 57 North is so expensive and hard to get at the LCBO shops, because the Ontario Duty Free shops at the border is where I have gotten almost all of my supplies over the years. I only got a first taste of 57 N from @Pudge72's LCBO Talisker 3-pack in 2011. In the US the Talisker 3-packs all contained the 18 yo in place of 57 North. Back as far as 2012 the LCBO was charging CAN $ 175 for 700 ml about the same time when I made my first stock-up of CAN $ 67 Litre bottles of 57 North at the Ontario Duty Free. That's $ 250 per litre compared to $ 67 per litre. Last time I got some at the border, in 2016, the 57 North was about CAN $ 100-110 per Litre. That is still a very good price.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Well good to know inflation hasn't affected LCBO prices in this case.

about one month ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, yes, it should only take another 30 years of currency depreciation for that $ 175 LCBO price to be a competitive one.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

That's probably about when I'll need to buy one...

about one month ago 0

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor I would consider the 18 to be a very worthy substitute.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan A certain etiquette needs to be observed when enjoying someone else's expensive whisky. Sounds like your friend might be a bit short in that department. I have one of those Talisker water jugs. Quite inexpensive, but very nice.

about one month ago 0

@Frost
Frost commented

@Nozinan thank you for the review, another affirmation that this Talisker bottling is a winner.

about one month ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@BlueNote, yes, I make a point of keeping a few Talisker 18s in my stores too. I think of the 18 yo as being for an entirely different mood, however. The 18 for me is for reflection, for contemplation and for the observation of beauty. 57 Degrees North is for me for the big invigouration, the Big Show.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor Sadly, I have never had anything other than a sample of 57 N as I have yet to see it at a reasonable price. I have had one bottle of 18 that I bought at the distillery in 2011 and managed to nurse for almost a year. Been craving more ever since.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote I like to make good bottles last too, but doctoring them is not considered appropriate...

about one month ago 0

@Georgy
Georgy commented

I really undervalued this one last year. It does need time to open up, as @Victor says. Delicious stuff! =P

about one month ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

In my home it will have years to open up, depending on who I serve it to in the future...

about one month ago 0

@Mancub
Mancub commented

@Victor I've yet to try the 57° North, but a friend recently shared one of the last drams of his bottle of Talisker 18 with me, and you're right, it is a beauty. I think Talisker 18 is probably the best whisky I've ever tasted and I wish that we had access to them here in Canada. I saw a bottle while in California earlier this year for $165 and if I knew how good it was then, that's what I would have brought home with me. A superb whisky.

about one month ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Mancub, I call Talisker 18 yo a "watching the sun set" kind of whisky.

about one month ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Nozinan My wife insists that nurses are the drivers of the health care system.

about one month ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@BlueNote Not only that, but my wife insists on being the driver of the car as well...

about one month ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Talisker 57 is great. And it's artificial scarcity (at least in the US) is a pain. The entirety of my supply comes from a mail order I did from Europe a couple years ago. 700 mL bottles for €53 each.

EDIT: Still available there, but the price is now €58: finedrams.com/talisker-57th-north-whisky.h…

about one month ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt You can get it for about 65 Euros (for export) from the UK retailers. The problem is that shipping overseas is now pricy. When Fine drams first opened they offered free worldwide shipping.

about one month ago 0

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

@Nozinan , yeah, that was the best thing that ever happened in the history of whisky. I squeezed in two orders before they ended that "grand opening" promo—one to test it, and another to stock up!

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@MadSingleMalt I was able to get some Cask Strength Writer's tears about two years before and about 1/3 the price it was at the LCBO.

about one month ago 0

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@Nozinan Nice review, I think this is another must try as I love the Talisker profile and the 10 is just a stunning whisky in my book. As for your rapid "evaporation" of the bottle that's kind of sad, some people just don't know how to handle themselves, I've had this happen a few times, thankfully most people aren't like that.

about one month ago 0

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