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Undisclosed Distillery (52)

Talisker 20 yo (1981/2002, OB, 62%)

Today we’re having an iconic bottling from an iconic distillery: Talisker 20 years old, limited edition released in 2002, rapidly disappeared from the market and now a cult for collectors (extimated value in November 2016: 1500€). The abv is quite high, 62% – unusual for Talisker. When our friend Pagani came to us waving a glass with this and asking “come on, what is it?!”, we would have never guessed “Talisker”. Now we’ll taste it at home, hoping for more coherent feelings.

talob-1981

N: so that’s the scene: a little wooden boat comes from the sea through the mist and fog, looking for the shore. In the glass there’s a lot of sea and a rarified atmosphere of wet peat, an heavy sense of steam and starch. Sea water, for sure, and some smokiness from a bonfire. Once docked, the deserved restoration of the sailor: bacon, a lot of strawberry and blackberry jam, blackcurrant too. The fruity side is really juicy and exhuberant, to say the least. Licorice and ash, black grapes and chocolate, pepper and peat, in a continuous olfactory bewilderment, as thousands of stories told by the campfire on the beach, at night.

P: even if it’s 62%, it’s quite easy to drink – and it’s impressive. Amazing indeed, and it’s how you expect it to be: stunning. The mouthfeel is fat, chewy, and the first impact is of a true islander, with peat, bacon and sea. There’s a triumph of Talisker’s spiciness, with pepper and nutmeg, just before the Apocalypse: ex-sherry casks shake the palate and an heavy sweetness rules, made of warm tarte tatin, red fruits jam still in the pot. Orange gleams. Pine needles? Add some water and you’ll have eternal delight.

F: very long, with a dirty note, beteween bacon and pepper. Ash and jams, ad libitum.

The best Talisker ever had by your beloved Whisky and Facile, at least according to the volatile and relative perceptions of hic et nunc? Maybe yes, oh well, wait: yes, for sure: 94/100. Incredible power, constantly moving complexity, permanent restructuring of an aromatic profile that at every sip reveals new hints, new aromas, all perfectly blended together and each on the main stage from time to time: a masterpiece, with a shaking intensity and a delicious balance. Everything manages to be both shouted out loud and yet veiled of a surrealistic elegance, with that rarefaction that we described on the nose… Just magnificent. Thanks to Giorgio D’Ambrosio, grazie infinite!

Recommended soundtrack: Led Zeppelin – Thank you.

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