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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
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)
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.