Wednesday, 6 May 2015

SMWS 14.3 - 17 year old Talisker 1979

Distillery: Talisker
Bottling: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 17
Distilled: 1979
Bottled: 1996
Strength: 64.3%.
Cask Code: 14.3

This was a bottle that took my eye at auction as independent bottlings of Talisker are as rare as hen's teeth. I shared this with some blogging friends and we split the bottle 7 ways. I have no idea what cask this is as it was bottled in the early days of the society where such information wasn't given out, or probably needed. This is when the society was maybe more just about the taste of the whisky than it is now.

Nose: Very mineral like and very like nosing a fizzy glass of mineral / soda water. It also reminds me of American Cream Soda, which is similar but flavoured with vanilla. There is Apple peel, dry and pretty dusty which has some trademarks of a fino sherry cask, but I have been unable to find out any information on the cask type or the number of bottles to give me some clues. There are also indications of well used wood, maybe even third fill and potentially this could have been malt destined for blending? Powdery dusting sugar and some old books making this musky. Some very light tobacco smoke and a tiny bit of peat comes and goes. It is possible if there was more peat in this it has weakened over time in the bottle here. I get a little cork which may or may not be down to time in the bottle and bamboo shoots. A little butter scotch that I would normally associate with grain whisky, and again well used wood that has already given off most of its more obvious flavours. Earth.

Palate: This definitely does not feel like 64.3% - Has the alcohol strength reduced through evaporation here? This would certainly tie in with the cork elements. Slightly sour, some barley, and a touch of light fruit.

Finish: Mint, hemp, and slightly floral.

This was a pretty challenging dram and unique to boot. I will need to go back to this again and further dig into it.

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