Diageo announces the Talisker 41 Year Old – the second in the Isle of Skye distillery’s prestigious Bodega Series – for the Singapore market.
Well-aged malts from Isle of Skye-based Scotch single malt producer Talisker are generally few and far between with the oldest in its core range a very limited run 30YO, while older or more unusual ones tend to end up in Diageo’s annual special releases. So when something like an old Talisker pops up out of the blue, people do take note.
This time it’s the 1978 vintage Talisker 41 Year Old, the second release in its Bodega Series. The series is focused on exploring sherry cask finishing – that is, a process of allowing already matured whisky to undergo an additional maturation period in a different cask type – on its whiskies. The first in the series was a 40 Year Old that has been finished in 40 year old Amontillado sherry casks – sourced from Delgado Zuleta, one of Jerez’s oldest sherry producers, no less – and released in June last year.
This new 41 Year Old, on the other hand, features whisky that was first aged in refill American oak barrels and then finished in Manzanilla casks from the same producer. Oenophiles would no doubt be heartened to know that those casks used to hold the bodega’s highly acclaimed flagship wine La Goya.
The result here – at least according to Talisker – is a remarkably rich whisky, with a nose that carries the sweet fruitiness of sultanas and orange peel framed by sandalwood, with a tang of salty sea air and smoky raw sugar. The taste offers a fine balance between sweetness and smoke, there’s a finish that is generously warming and sustained, with a drying, softly smoky conclusion.
This whisky comes in a handcrafted bottle that comes housed in a special sherry oak casing to evoke many stages of the whisky’s history and journey.
There are only 2,000 bottles of this expression worldwide.
The 50.7% ABV Talisker 41 Year Old is available in Singapore from Diageo Rare & Exceptional at a retail price of S$4,600 for a 70cl bottle, inclusive of duties and taxes. For more information or to purchase a bottle, you can contact Diageo’s private client team by emailing PrivateClientSG@Diageo.com.
Official Tasting Notes – Talisker 41 Year Old
colour Bright amber with deep golden lights. Astonishingly good beading for this strength.
nose A mild nose-feel, dry and maritime overall, with light prickle from the sheer character of the spirit. The aroma presents salty-spicy top-notes and a sweet, mellow fruity middle with hints of slightly caramelised apple crumble. The base is lightly maritime, with faded boat varnish, dried fish, and just a suggestion of smoke. A drop of water alters this very little, but brings up more smoky notes. Now softer overall.
BODY Medium to full.
PALATE Great to drink at natural strength, when the taste seamlessly moves from sweetness through saltiness to pepper, smoke, fire and brimstone and is delicious to drink straight. The mouth-filling texture is rich and smooth. The taste starts with the sweetness of soft fudge, then a balancing saltiness gradually yields to a peppery heat that lasts and lasts. The expected chilli-pepper kick at the back is gloriously unmuted. Sweeter, more savoury and smoky when reduced, it’s still delicious, while the pepper still finds a way through.
finish Long, hot, smoky and delicious, with mouth-cooling Sichuan pepper in the aftertaste amid lingering threads of peat smoke. Adding water reduces the heat while lengthening the finish.