Talisker – The Ageless Distillery

February 21, 2011
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Distillery manager Charlie Smith in person hosted a masterclass at the Munich festival. I was delighted to see that their two top bottlings (25yo and 30yo) were poured, along with the 12yo FOCM bottling and the 18yo.

Highland Park 1998/2010 James MacArthur

February 17, 2011
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This Highland Park is unusually smoky but it clearly shows its provenance. Very complex and a pleasure to enjoy. Remarkably smooth without water. – Rating: 87/100

Talisker 175th Anniversary

January 30, 2011
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A surprisingly fruity Talisker, the multi-age vatting gives it a lot of complexity. The overall character is gentler than the standard 10 yo. – Rating: 87/100

Talisker Distillers Edition 1999

January 7, 2011
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Many peated malts have a distinct “bacon nose”, not this one. Instead it has the strongest taste of bacon I have ever experienced in a whisky. I love bacon, and I love this whisky. – Rating: 90/100

Brewdog Paradox Isle of Arran

December 16, 2010
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A very rich stout, perhaps a bit too much on the bitter side for my taste but very flavour-intensive. You wouldn’t guess the whisky connection though because it blends very smoothly with the beer. – Rating: 82/100

Highland Park 18 yo

November 21, 2010
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A marvelous dram for relaxing on a cold evening. This one has got it all: Peat, smoke, fruit, sweetness, spice. The best value of the HP standard range. – Rating: 90/100

Arran 100 Proof

October 23, 2010
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This malt has lots of youthful bite but does not offer a great deal of interesting flavours. Bottled way too young for my taste. – Rating: 70/100

Abhainn Dearg Spirit of Lewis

September 17, 2010

Like many newmakes this reminds me more of a fruit brandy than a whisky. It is actually quite sippable, if you don’t expect a peaty island malt. It is certain is worth watching its maturation progress. – Rating: 64/100

Jura Prophecy

June 13, 2010
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There is some sherry influence giving the malt a mild fruitiness, but the emphasis clearly is on peat and aromatic spices. A quite complex multi-vintage vatting, this is not something you would get from only one age and cask type. – Rating: 85/100

Arran Peacock

June 7, 2010

A very well done vatting of bourbon and sherry casks, richly flavoured and entirely enjoyable. – Rating: 86/100

Arran Rowan Tree

June 7, 2010
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Quite different from the Peacock, obviously more sherry casks were used for this edition. A good malt, but I prefer the fruitier character of the Peacock. – Rating: 83/100

Highland Park 1981/2006 Mackillop’s Choice

April 2, 2010

If you give this whisky a while to develop its aromas, you will be rewarded with a delicate and very complex dram. Highly enjoyable, but it comes at a price. – Score: 89/100

Highland Park Hjarta

March 29, 2010

A well-balanced and complex Highland Park with barely noticeable peat. Quite a step upward from the standard 12yo. – Score: 87/100

Talisker 57°N

February 28, 2010
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An excellent dram, I like it a tad better than the standard 10yo. Fruiter nose but peatier and spicier palate. – Score: 88/100

Tobermory 1972/2008 Whisky-Doris

February 27, 2010

Very complex and concentrated, the lightly peated sherry fruitiness reminds me a bit of Bowmore. Wood tannins are surely there after 35 years, but not overwhelmingly strong. – Score: 88/100

Talisker 10 yo – old Map label

January 29, 2010

The old version has much more sherry influence than its modern brother. I wouldn’t say it’s better, but it is intriguingly different. – Score: 86/100

Highland Park 12 yo – 2002 bottling

January 24, 2010

A nice balance of quite a few different flavours, more maritime on the nose than on the palate. – Score: 83/100

Scapa 14 yo

January 12, 2010
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A bit too “plain” for my taste. I can’t stop thinking that there is something missing in this whisky. – Score: 73/100

Highland Park 1985/2002 – Adelphi

November 17, 2009

Very little noticeable peat, the palate could be a bit fruitier for my taste, but still very pleasant. – Score: 85/100

Highland Park 1989/2005 Murray McDavid

October 16, 2009

A very nice whisky, perhaps it would have been even better if the finish was a little less dominant. – Score: 88/100