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As most people who've spent more then two minutes with me know, I'm a Talisker fan, in fact I'm more then a Talisker fan, I'm a Talisker freak.
The 10 year old is one of those bang for buck entry level whiskies, the 18 year old is Talisker refined. I own three different bottles of Talisker 25 year old, two bottles of Talisker 10 year old, a Talisker 35 year old, two bottles of Talisker 22 year old from Gordon & MacPhail and a bottle of Talisker 57 North.
You get the idea I think.
Now all that being said I'd heard for years how good the Talisker 57 North was and so about six months ago I took the plunge and picked up a bottle. Sadly I wound up doing this RIGHT before the price drop so I wound up paying quite a bit more then it now runs, but was it worth it?
Well it was an easy purchase for me with my love of Talisker and it was with more then a little excitement that I cracked the bottle open the night before my wife and I left for Scotland.
Last night was my tasting for the official review. The bottle had been open from the end of May with a nine tenths fill level.
I pour the whisky into the glencairn and immediately get the aromas that I expect out of Talisker, even without my head being near the glass.
Vanilla, white peppers, soft peat smoke, a little lemon zest, aged oak, some soft fruit notes: strawberries and a hint of sea shore: salt and seaweed.
Love, LOVE the nose! It's everything that I think of when I think of Talisker and just nosing it puts a smile on my face.
Time for a taste though!
First off it is a bigger whisky then the 10 year old, but it doesn't give you any indication of it's 57% abv.
Vanilla, lemon and orange zest, some bitter oak tannins, white peppers, salt, soft smoke, quite a bit of spice, hints of charred oak.
Enjoyable body, thick, a little hot especially for those not used to cask strength whiskies, but still very enjoyable.
The finish is long with caramel and lemon and orange zest.
An enjoyable whisky, but for me the orange zest is a little too overpowering. However I know quite a few guys who are going to LOVE this whisky, while I just enjoy it.
A couple of quick notes regarding the name and abv on this whisky. Talisker 57 North is marketed as a cask strength Talisker. It's not though as the whisky has been watered down to bring it down to the 57 % abv so it's not a true cask strength however it is Talisker on steroids.
The other note about this whisky is that the name actually comes from the distilleries high northern latitude and the watering of the abv down to 57% is also due to the name and continuing with that theme.
I paid roughly $160 for my bottle, which while I enjoy the whisky I don't think I'd purchase it again at that price.
However thankfully the price within the last few months has dropped down to roughly $120 to $135 which I'd happily pay for a bottle of this. If you ever would like a chance to try a high abv Talisker this is definitely going to be your bang for buck whisky as from here on what moving into 20/25/30/35 year old Taliskers the price jumps enormously!
I'd quite happily introduce this whisky to my friends who enjoy a more intense whisky and is in my opinion still one of the Talisker core range whiskies that are worthy of owning.