Colour: Old Gold
One has come to expect, and quite fairly, good things from Talisker. The standard 10, the lovely 18 and the delicious 57 North are the reasons for that. So, as a fan, it’s disappointing to try hard and eke out positives from their last two No Age Statements; Storm & Port Ruighe. And this is what I think about the latter.
The nose has the reassuring and familiar sea salty dampness that one expects from all malts from Skye. There is then a healthy ladle of meat stew with thick chunks of sausage sprinkled liberally with fiery black peppercorns. Cold cuts on the side are accompanied by a bowlful of pomegranate and raisins. I quite like it which makes the delivery that much more disappointing.
You are greeted with an unbalanced palate of caramel, molasses, spicy clove mixed with cherry syrup and a stick of licorice on a bed of mild peat. It has all the ingredients to make this a cracker but I think the spirit weighs far too heavy on the spicier notes not allowing the gentler sweeter profiles to come through. Plus there is a nagging bitterness in there some where which is hard to catch.
The lingering, spicy finish also retains that irksome bitterness.
I really wanted this to blow me away. Instead it chose to remain borderline average.
Colour: Young Sauternes
Talisker created quite a bit of buzz around this particular No Age Statement bottling with many speculating that this would be the complete Skye malt. But it was not to be…
The typical salty Talisker nose is at first comforting as it brings with it the traditional Skye notes like lemon zest, melted butter with herbs drizzled on a salmon and cream pie soaked in brine. I quite liked the nose.
The palate, on the other hand, is a touch disappointing for me. While the delivery is quite intensely spicy with a lemon honey twang it is the presence of something mysteriously bitter which throws me off towards the end. Quite unsettling if you ask me.
The oily finish, unfortunately, retains the nagging bitterness which I can only hope later editions address.
I’ve been lucky enough to own multiple bottles of this beauty so I tend to drink this one at will! But I gloat. Let’s talk about the nose, shall we? The powerful aromas make me feel like a captain on a fishing trawler – braving the rough seas and the salty waves that pound the edge of the boat time and again. Strands of seaweed and kelp are flung on the ship in quick succession. No matter how hard the deck hands try they can never rid themselves of that. Out of the corner of my eye I see my first-mate neglecting his duties and tending to a succulent sausage barbecue. In between the sausages are the most delicious pieces of salty fish, sprayed with lemon zest, that I have ever tasted.
I want to discipline him but I can’t – something tells me to just accept the things the way they are.
As I bring the crystal nosing glass to my lips I am treated to three distinct emotions. First the full bodied malt announces it’s arrival with a touch of salt and a glimmer of smoke. Then, immediately fighting for attention are a tumble of autumn fruits and a lovely soft pudding. As your mind tries to come to grips with the two distinct flavors you are treated to the gentlest of iodine sprayed spices as they signal the end of the journey.
At 57% this is one of the longer finishes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. If you don’t have one I suggest you go out there right now and procure yourself possibly one of the best tasting single malts out there!
Rating : 95