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Talisker 57º North

These go to eleven

9 2291

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

20th Jan 2018

0

  • Nose
    24
  • Taste
    22
  • Finish
    22
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a sample generously given to me by @Nozinan on November 13/2017. The bottle was opened in January 2017, gassed after each use and 1/2 full when the sample was poured.

Talisker is one of those whiskies I think I could identify blind. Its distinct aroma and flavours are unlike anything I’ve encountered so far in my whisky journey. There’s no age information I can find on this whisky, but after tasting it, my best guess is that 57 North is a vatting of 10-14 year whiskies.

Tasting Notes

  • Nose (undiluted): friendly for something bottled at 57% ABV. Classic Talisker minerality, vegetal iodine (more seaweed than medicinal), slight chalkiness, brine, black pepper, moderately smoky. There are some notes reminiscent of grapefruit (the "meat" not the pith). As this sits in the glass, there are some cinnamon, oak and wood varnish notes popping through. Very complex and pleasant nose.

  • Palate (undiluted): hot, peppery arrival, prickly, almost hoppy on the tongue, the slight chalkiness returns, developing some citrus (orange zest, maybe?), with the cinnamon and oak tannins popping back up.

  • Finish: Medium length and drying. This was a bit shorter and “pulled” more than I expected. A bit of brine remains with some smoke, oak and fruitiness lingering.

With water, the wood varnish (cask?) notes come forward on the nose, as does the brine and seaweed. the smoke retreats to the back, as a kind of echo. As the whisky sits, a kind of industrial machinery aroma lingers (if that makes any sense). On the palate, with water, the smoke becomes more evident as does the cinnamon and wood spice. The finish is not quite as drying with water, but shorter than I expected. Very pleasant nonetheless. I nursed this pour for about 2 hours while doing laundry and with time, it got more interesting. At the very end of the finish, I was detecting a bit of unripe banana.

I really enjoyed this whisky, but I’m a Talisker fan so make of that what you will. I’ve been fortunate; I’ve never hit a bad bottle. This sample was no exception.

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22 comments

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

I really like this one as well as the 10yr. I have two bottles of the 10 currently. The 57N is so peppery and delicious. I get some pickles. Hard to come by in Nashville.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I appreciate the bold guess on its age!

about one month ago 0

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt And it’s just that: a SWAG (sophisticated wild-ass guess). It’s similar to an “amped up” 10, but there are definitely more cask-influenced notes, leading me to believe there are some older whiskies in the mix. But it’s just a guess.

about one month ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, @MadSingleMalt, wouldn't it fun to have unfettered access to casks of all ages of Talisker in order to experiment and determine just how much 15 or 20 or 25 yo Talisker it would take to jazz up an NAS Talisker to make it as good as is Talisker 57 Degrees North?

My SWAG about 57 North? I'll say it contains 40% 8 yo, 50% 12 yo, and 10% 20 yo Talisker. Bottling the whisky at 57% ABV shows the younger component casks to best advantage. The plain fact is that as whisky aficionados we simply do not have the experience to know what and how much of the older whiskies would be required to get the "touch of older taste" effect in a (successful) NAS product.

about one month ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

Unfettered access to casks of all ages of Talisker?

Nah. Sounds boring.

about one month ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

In need of some advice: Going to order the Talisker 18 for my Bday and need to bump up my order to get free delivery.

The 57 North is reduced to £53 and I'm tempted but I have an uneasy feeling about buying this and I'm not sure why. Seems reviews here are positive and it's generally well liked. Possibly still a bit of a hangover from my last bottle of the 10 which was likeable but a bit 'nippy' being honest. How does it compare to Benromach 10/100?

I guess I just want someone(s) to convince me . . . smirk

20 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@RianC, I hope that you are not asking these questions simply to torment @OdysseusUnbound, and all of those North Americans who would love some bottles of 57 North and cannot get them,..or get them at a decent price.

I have no idea as to whether or not you will enjoy a bottle of Talisker 57 Degrees North. What I do know is that I have purchased 5 Litre-sized bottles of it, plus a 700 ml one and if I had none I would lay in at least 3 bottles of it. Open bottle air exposure is good to it, and some batches seem to require it.

Like you I am not so sanguine on Talisker 10 as a general observation. I have found it to be extremely inconsistent and sometimes completely lacking in character. 57 North is my choice for standard go-to from Talisker. If and only if I could not get 57 North I would buy some 10 yo and hope for a good batch. My first 750 ml bottle of 10 yo was machts nichts until it took 7 months of air and then became quite good.

Sure, you'll likely like the 18 yo. And if you ever see the Talisker 175th Anniversary, that is an excellent one to get too.

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@RianC I would say that the 57 N is nothing like the Benromach 10/100. Both are excellent scotches but the flavour profiles are not comparable.

It might be easier to ask whether the profile of the Talisker 10 vs 57N is the same as the 10 vs the 10/100. I would say that the 2 Taliskers are closer in style and taste profile than the 2 Benromachs.

If I had the opportunity to get the 57N at the price you quote, I would be sorely tempted to do so. I happen to have a spare bottle and am participating in frugal February (and to a greater extent, I hope, in sane 2018) but otherwise I would snap it up.

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@RianC That’s $93 CAD. The 10 is $99 here. I would not hesitate for a second at that price. I’m hoping to get a bottle of 57N at a more sane price (it’s $175 here) in the near future.

Edit: I’d love to hear about the 18 Year old. I’ve never even seen that one here.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound, Talisker 18 yo? It is refined, delicious, and wine-searcher.com currently reports none being sold in the entire nation of Canada.

19 days ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I'd love to know how you're getting your hands on a sanely priced bottle of 57 N in Canada....

19 days ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

@Victor @Nozinan @OdysseusUnbound - Thanks! And, no, Victor, this was in no way to torment @OdysseusUnbound, promise! I wasn't even looking at it but rather saw it by chance.

Well, I have bought both. I figure the 57 at the price offered is a good deal either way and I'm interested to try it (technically, they are both gifts!) . The prices I see above, especially for the 10 are eye watering!

As for the 18, well, I only hear good things and it's one I've wanted for a while. Been quite an expensive day so far; lunch out with the family, those two bottles and a new golf bag . . .

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Happy Birthday, @RianC!

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Victor Thanks! Not until the end of the month but I've been getting twitchy that the 18 was going to sell out at the price I bought it at so jumped on it.

I really will use any excuse ha ha!

Yes, very happy with my 2018 purchases so far but forget frugal Feb - it's going to be 'tight 2018' from here on in!

19 days ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan I’m not. But my folks are in Florida for the winter and I sent them a list. We’ll see what they come back with. Last year I asked them to look for a Laphroaig 15, a Laphroaig 18 or a Laphroaig 10 CS......and they came back with a bottle of Laphroaig Select, “because this one was on sale”. Oh well, beggars can’t be choosers. It turned out pretty well. I wouldn’t have bought it otherwise and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Would I pay $75 CAD for it? Not on your life. But if it was on sale for $60-$65, I’d probably pull the trigger.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@OdysseusUnbound I hear you. I occasionally have sent out a list with people going down south. But more often than not, they don't go to the places my picks would be found. There's almost nothing in travel retail (except JW Island Green - going out) that I would want and I won't ask a "normal" person to take time to of their short vacation to track down a liquor store with good stuff.

Given sane 2018, Frugal February, Miserly march, #metoo (oops - that one seems to be getting in everywhere...), I'm being very selective about adding to my overburdened cabinet.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Nozinan Yeah, my folks only go to Costco or Total Wines, so they’re at the mercy of the selection there. But my sister and brother in law were down there last week and my b-i-l pointed some potential winners out to my parents, since he knows I like “the ones that taste like an ashtray”. Either way, I’m always appreciative of gifts. I do have SOME sense of social decorum.

19 days ago 1Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

I really need to watch This Is Spinal Tap one of these days.

8 days ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@MadSingleMalt You should. Especially if you're a musician who has played/toured. It hits home. And it's hilarious satire.

8 days ago 0

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