There’s a lot to like about the holiday season and one of those small, but fun, things is the emergence of some truly interesting whiskies at the LCBO tasting bars.
Case in point: Talisker 25 Year Old.
I have to say, I’m a big fan of nearly everything Talisker releases. I don’t typically enjoy heavily peated whiskies, but the nature of the smoke inherent to Talisker’s products (more campfire smokiness and less phenolic bite) really suits me.
Talisker 10 is one of the staples of my whisky cabinet and the smokey contribution of Talisker to the Johnnie Walker Green Label blend is part of what makes that a go-to favorite of mine as well.
With all that being said, I’ve never had the opportunity to try an older variant from Talisker’s reserves, so I was quite excited to see it open at the tasting bar this season! Let’s get into the notes…
Nose: Luxurious but subtle smokiness that is very apparent, but still gentle. There’s an a lovely sweet cereal note, almost nutty, behind the smokiness, along with a delicious fresh, red fruit note. And, of course, a light seaside brininess. This is unquestionably a Talisker whisky on the nose, albeit beautifully refined.
Palate: That rich, luxurious smoke coats the mouth but doesn’t overpower. It gives way to the fruity, sherried elements of the nose: red apple, red current, and a bit of citrus. The nutty, cereal element is still there but doesn’t really become apparent until the development. The sweetness of the arrival fades, allowing the malty cereal notes to come forward, along with a bit of oak-influenced spice and the briney, seaside influence.
Finish: Pleasant long, it’s neither terribly drying nor overwhelmingly sweet. Wonderfully balanced, it leaves you with a lingering sense of that delicate smoke, light ginger and citrus, and a hint of salty sea air.
Score (on one tasting): 91/100
Though it was only one tasting (and I was only able to try it neat – no water added), it was a truly wonderful dram. This bottle retails for about $400 in Ontario and for that reason alone I will likely never own a bottle of Talisker 25, but I would dearly love to! I’ve had a few whiskies that I enjoyed more on first blush than this one, but not many.
If this bottle were still available in the $250 range I could probably muster up the money and the gumption to but a bottle for special occasions, but sadly those days have passed me by.
If a $400 bottle of whisky is in your budget then by all means give Talisker 25 a try, I doubt you’ll be disappointed!