When the NAS-hype arrived a couple of years ago, Talisker was one of the first to launch one next to their classic 10 year old. Now, that does not neccessarily have to be a bad thing. The Talisker Storm or the 57° North were both quite excellent in my book (I have yet to try the Dark Storm and the Skye). This Port Ruighe (say ‘port-reeh’), from 2013, was finished on port casks.
Those port casks have definitely had their influence on the nose. So much so that – bar some citrus – the classic Talisker traits are hardly recognizable. Not a problem, though. I get mostly dark fruit (prunes, dades and a hint of cranberries) and chocolate. Strawberry yoghurt! The peat wants to shine, but is not given the chance. Although there is a medicinal touch in there somewhere. Band aid in the background. Pinch of salt, leaf of mint. Special, to be sure.
It is quite oily, but also piquant from the get-go. Chili pepper, ginger, lots of sea salt. Yes, it even turns brackish. The red fruit (cranberries in the lead) has its work cut out for it trying to shine through. Orange liqueur with some smoke. But now it can no longer hide its identity – this is Talisker alright!
The long finish becomes very smoky, dark and sweet with some earthy notes at the death. Outstanding.
Quasi incognito on the nose, but on the palate, this is clearly Talisker, but with a red twist. I quite like it (certainly the finish), but still love the ‘regular’ Talisker more. Thanks, Pat!