Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon Refill and ex-Port
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 45.00
Official website: taliskerwhisky.com
When defining the character of Talisker whiskies, the term volcanic is often used, due to the strong but unique – and quite different from Islay – peated notes and a hint of black pepper that literally sets the mouth on fire.
The landscape of Skye, the island northwest of the Scottish coast that has been home to the distillery since 1830, seems, in this sense, a perfect correlative of the character: rugged and wild.
It’s therefore with great curiosity that we are about to taste Port Ruighe, a Talisker finished in Port that has only been in the distillery’s core range since 2013. What effect will the encounter between the sweetness of this Portuguese wine and the stormy character of Talisker have?
The name Port Ruighe (pronounced Portree) is that of the largest town on Skye, a trading point for 19th century Scottish merchants who bravely challenged the fury of the North Atlantic to trade with Portugal.
Ageing, which is not declared, took place in both European and American oak casks, all refill. The length of finish in classic Port pipes is also undeclared. The alcohol content is the usual, unique Talisker: 45.8 % ABV.
In the glass, the whisky is a dark amber colour.
On approaching the nose, the first impression, persistent, is of sultanas, dates and vanilla. For a moment, you think of certain finishes in Marsala or Rum. Then from this sea of sweetness comes the white Talisker pepper. The peat remains as a vague background, a weak note that comes and goes without conviction and only with the passing of the minutes does it acquire a certain intensity.
In the mouth, surprisingly, it’s the peat that takes its revenge, together with the pepper. The sweetness takes a back seat: it accompanies the development from afar, almost guarding it, but it’s the marine character of Talisker that imposes itself.
The finish is moderately long, more sweet than bitter.
A curious whisky, which finds in the substantial inconsistency between smell and palate its greatest reason for fascination.
A surprise, happy or not depending on taste, for those accustomed to the strong sensations of Talisker, in this case tamed (at least up to a certain point) by the sweet notes of Port.
Other bottlings in the blog:
Talisker 8yo Special Release 2018
Talisker 8yo Special Release 2020
Talisker 15yo Special Release 2019
Talisker 57° North
Talisker 2008 The First Editions
Talisker Dark Storm
Talisker Distillers Edition 2019
Talisker Select Reserve Game of Thrones – House Greyjoy
The Scotch Noob