Google Ultimate duos today Talisker

Serge whiskyfun
Thousands of tastings,
all the music,
all the rambligs
and all the fun


Facebook Twitter Logo
Guaranteed ad-free
copyright 2002-2020


Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 10, 2020



Ultimate duos and wee fights, today Talisker (or the beast and the beauty)

So another one from Diageo’s new Prima & Ultima series, this time the old Talisker that’s supposed to be a ‘lighter’ one, but we’ll see. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic, whether light or heavy. As for the sparring partner, who says ‘light Talisker’ thinks ‘Talisker Skye’, I believe. At least that one will make for an easy aperitif… and perhaps a proper steppingstone, let’s see…

The friendly sparring-partner:

Talisker 'Skye' (45.8%, OB, +/-2018)

Talisker 'Skye' (45.8%, OB, +/-2018) Two stars and a half
I have to say the first batches, around 2014 or 2015, did not quite convince me but as they say in rock and roll, you sometimes need tough love… Colour: light gold. Nose: it’s nice-ish, it’s just not very complex, although, could be that they improved the recipe, I’m not too sure. I find less of the straight coconut-and-vanilla elements this time, and more tin, concrete, menthol, camphor and green pepper. Mouth: the oak feels, there’s a drying bitterness, then salt and lemon peel. I find it tough, and god knows I love the 10yo, which shouldn’t be that older. The oak gets louder (sawdust). Finish: medium, gritty and drying. Needs polishing. The aftertaste is a little nicer, read more on smoked brine, but that’s a little late. Comments: duties done, can we have the new 31 Prima & Ultima now? Seriously, there are only two Taliskers which I don’t like a lot, Skye and Port Ruighe. All the others, from Storm to the oldest glories, I really like or love a lot.
SGP:365 - 77 points.

The Prima & Ultima:

Talisker 31 yo 1988/2019 (51.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill American oak cask, cask #5773, 721 bottles)

Talisker 31 yo 1988/2019 (51.4%, OB, Prima & Ultima, refill American oak cask, cask #5773, 721 bottles) Five stars
This one stems from a small parcel of casks that had been deemed as ‘less peaty’ than usual, so we might expect some lighter-style Talisker here. With 721 bottles it was probably some kind of refill American oak puncheon or butt. Or is it actually a small batch? We’ll soon find out. Having said, I’ll tell you one thing, I almost always find the whiskies much punchier than what the distillers state, really. Remember those very smooth and light Caol Ilas? Me neither. Colour: gold. Nose: ace, this time again. Some fantastic brine at first (that used to shelter perfect pink olives) and really ‘a walk on the beach’, then damp fabric – that old tweed jacket that’s seen many distilleries – and some freshly squeezed lemons. In the background, rather bitter almond paste, putty, and good friends anchovies and sardines. Indeed, it is neither extremely smoky nor peppery this far, but boy is it coastal! With water: there, chalk and clay, beach sand, old embrocations and Vicks. Very very lovely. Mouth (neat): if this is light whisky, Hamilton’s Mercedes is a slow car. I find it extremely fat and oily - you’d almost need a spoon to get it out of your tasting glass – and rather all on seawater and some kind of drier grapefruit liqueur at first sipping. It’s then very medicinal, full of chlorophyll and eucalyptus, pretty resinous too (more putty and pine resin), and then, of course, rather peppery. It is pretty peaty too, mind you. With water: reminiscent of the paler old Taliskers distilled in the 1950s (not the sherry monsters). Which is, naturally, great news. I think it’s time you called the Anti-Maltoporn Brigade. Finish: long and simply divine, back on brine, putty, bitter almonds and camphory ointments. Comments: it is extremely impossible not to down a double. Extremely.
SGP:365 - 92 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Talisker we've tasted so far







Whiskyfun's Home