Saturday 15 October 2022

Tasted #593: 1955 Talisker 50 Year Old (TimeforWhisky 10 Year Anniversary Dram)

Number 3 in our 10th Anniversary dram roundup comes from The Isle of Skye, distilled way back in 1955 and bottled in 2005 by Gordon & MacPhail at a whopping 50 years old. I tasted this a few years back at Whisky Now Hong Kong (which I hope returns in 2023).

Now technically, this is a "Secret Skye" whisky and isn't actually labelled as a Talisker, but in 1955 there was precisely one distillery on the Isle of Skye. So it's either a Talisker...or a Talisker.

Talisker has never released an OB 50yo (this year's 44yo "Forrests of the Deep" is the oldest OB to date), so it's fair to say a 50 year old is pretty special (and with an average rating on WhiskyBase of 93.05, it seems others agree). 

It's also a lot darker / more sherried than any OB Talisker I can recall, coming from a single sherry butt. Sound like fun? Let's jump in then...

Gordon & MacPhail "Secret Stills" Isle of Skye (Talisker) (45% ABV, 50yo, Isle of Skye, $68,990HKD)

Colour: Deep rich mahogany.

Nose: Cloves, old books, aged leather and almonds (at first). Old dusty oak, with slightly saline hints, some raspberries and furniture polish / varnish. Then some grapefruit(!) notes appear, along with a long soft note of humidor.

Palate: Initially - berries. Raspberry, lingonberry, and even some lychee! There's a slight menthol note, and the oak is definitely there, but it's not overpowering (despite what the colour and 50 years in a first fill sherry butt might suggest)! Raisins and blackcurrants, toffee, licorice and black tea come next (the latter not overtly tannic), followed by dark almond chocolate, and some sweet, tobacco notes. Hugely complex, but also "clean".

Finish: Black tea, slight tannins.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 93/100. A hugely complex whisky - lots going on, and it's all extremely tasty.

You know where to find us tomorrow for dram #4!


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