Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 90.00
Official website: taliskerwhisky.com
Another NAS of Talisker (sooner or later we’ll get our hands on some serious ageing, don’t worry!), this time with a name that has a double reference.
The 57th North in fact refers to the latitude of the distillery’s location, whose coordinates are -6.356738 57.302331, and to the alcohol gradation at which the whisky was bottled, not cask strength but almost.
The strength is decidedly unusual for the distillery’s core range, further underlining the exceptional nature of this bottle.
Launched in 2008, this bottling is Talisker’s longest-running NAS, initially released only in airport duty free shops, a common practice to test the market with a new product.
It’s aimed at a more affluent and (theoretically) more educated demographic, a good way to understand the effectiveness of the bottling before launching it into wider distribution. In addition, a label exclusive to a certain segment allows a higher price, which is not negligible when production costs are high and protracted, as in the case of whiskies.
Golden yellow (thank you caramel!), quite dense in the glass.
The nose is immediately invaded by peat, nice and meaty, with an intense, almost chewy smoke. Leather, burnt wood and ocean waves, very salty and spicy. Pepper, like any self-respecting Talisker. If you insist patiently, there’s also a hint of vanilla, all without the alcohol ever being a nuisance. All in all, a nice tough nose.
In the mouth, you get the 57° with a nice initial pinch, the peat becomes sweeter and less fleshy, but still smoky, and gives way to the oceanic bomb, almost as if you could hear the waves breaking on the rocks (what the Storm was unable to do, in short). And when you wipe the sea spray from your face, orange, cinnamon, more vanilla and lots and lots of pepper with nutmeg arrive. The sensation is that of a bonfire on the rocks, but without the effort of preserving the fire from the fury of the water: the aromas chase each other and mingle, with the thrust of alcohol and spices holding everything together.
The finish is long, of extinguished embers, salty and spicy, with caramelised orange on the fire (don’t you caramelise some orange on a bonfire?)
So far, the best NAS of Talisker I have ever tasted, very full-bodied and assertive, complex, to be tasted slowly. A 10 year old on steroids, without losing sight of balance.
The Scotch Noob