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57 North @ 2013-10-04
A mini-note this time. My favourite whisky bar received a shipment of Talisker bottles recently to add to their burgeoning collection (some 200 or more whiskies) - I spied the 57 North and Port Ruighe as the box was being unpacked and made a mental note to try them.
The 57 North in particular I had been wanting to try for a very long time and finally, on a recent Friday afternoon, after a long week at work, decided to try both side by side at the bar. The 57 North followed the Port Ruighe.
Nose: Quite tame on first impressions - much less smoke than the Port Ruighe. More akin to the standard 10 year old. Dry, ashy smoke. Sea breeze, crisp sweet malt. Coconut! There's also a port/sherry influence here as well although it is quite understated. With water: Toffee and eventually wisps of BBQ and/or hickory sauce.
Taste: BIG arrival of citrus, peat and brine. Big "tang" accompanied by a good helping of spices. Eventually softens to big, chewy malt with the peat present throughout. The dry port/sherry notes are here again - the feel of red wine tannins. Big palate that just keeps on going, like waves crashing on a rocky shoreline. Lacks the strong peppery buzz of the standard 10 year old however, but definitely one to savour!
Finish: Bitter chocolate, peat, tannins, vanilla, spices, citrus, brine. Long, lingering and warm. A touch of dry oak at the back.
Balance: Great balance throughout. Extra strength really helps here! Robust and more-ish. Big but lovely with just a few drops of water - I didn't feel the need to add any more than that.
Score: N22 T22 F22 B23 = 89
I would recommend this to any Talisker fan who hasn't already tried it. I could very well see myself replacing the Talisker 10 in my cabinet with this expression.