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Talisker Port Ruighe

Honey Marmalade Glazed Ham

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@systemdownReview by @systemdown

9th Oct 2013


Talisker Port Ruighe
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Port Ruighe @2013-10-04

Another mini-review. 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.

I finally got my chance and tasted both in one session, the Port Ruighe ("Port-ree") preceding the 57 North.

The bottle code on the Port Ruighe starts "L3 093" so was bottled approximately the end of March 2013.

Nose: Loads of sweet, honeyed smoke (smoked ham), oranges (marmalade), a hint of berries, fresh sea air - delicious! That smoke is so sweet and rich. With time in the glass, a toffee note emerges. I could nose this all day. Definitely appeals to me.

Taste: Hallmark Talisker peppery peat and brine attack, smoked citrus, sweet malt, red fruits and more spices with that sweet smoke cutting through it all. A hint of chili. Luscious mouthfeel. Reminds me of the Sheep Dip Old Hebridean 1990 (a vatting of old Ardbeg, [sherried] Dalmore and Fettercairn - do try it, if you can find it). This marriage of rich port and smoke works a treat, as per the sherried smoke in the Old Hebridean.

Finish: Drying smoke, peat, spices and more traces of red fruit (berries). Not overly long, but very pleasant nonetheless.

Balance: Excellent continuity from nose through finish. Fans of this style (sweet and smokey) will take to it immediately, but it may not appeal to all. Very approachable neat (tame, almost), quite possibly at the expense of the distillery character we know and love - the Talisker "fire" is absent in this one. Is this a bad thing?

Score: N23 T22 F21 B22 = 88

I really enjoyed the Port Ruighe, even though it's not your typical Talisker. That nose in particular is an amazing melange of marmalade and honey-glazed ham, a marriage made in heaven. It does not possess the raw impact of the standard 10 year old, losing some of its "Talisker-ness" in the process, but as an addition to their range, I think the Port Ruighe fills a worthy niche.

I will certainly be picking up a bottle for my cabinet, pronto. Prior to this I didn't know that I had an affinity for the smoked sherry/port style but I will be going out of my way to explore more like it. Your results may vary!

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WhiskyBee commented

@systemdown - Great detailed review. I'd barely heard of this one, but you've certainly piqued my interest. I've tried only the 10 yo (several bottles drained, each one so different!) and I'm on the second bottle of the '99 DE, but that's enough to know that I greatly enjoy Talisker. Even if the Port Ruighe may lack some "Talisker-ness," the other flavors you describe make it sound tempting.

10 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Thanks @WhiskyBee! I was well overdue for a review. I wouldn't say this was a particularly detailed one though - just a quick "mini review" to keep the wheels turning. I'll be doing more of these instead of the exhaustive time courses I have done in the past (also, because I'm coming into a lot more samples these days vs. buying full bottles).

Yes the Talisker 10 has changed a fair bit.. my first bottle was from 2005 and it's very different to the present day releases. I've not tried any of the DEs but they are on my list to try.

I'd be curious to know what you make of this, as a Talisker fan. I think the key is to have an "open mind" and enjoy it on its merits vs. on any preconceived notions of what it should be like!

That nose though.. unforgettable!

10 years ago 0

systemdown commented

Thanks for the comments @fastpoose, let me know what you think of the Port Ruighe once you've tried it! I used to post reviews of the same whisky at different time points (these were the "maxi" ones) but nowadays I'm too busy with work and my kids to spend so much time writing notes for a single whisky!

That '96 Caol Ila DE Moscatel sounds great, I've been keen to try it for a while but haven't got around to it yet unfortunately. Maybe soon! Cheers.

9 years ago 0