I clearly remember my first brush with the Talisker 10.
It was brought out in a Johnny Walker Gold, Green and Blue labels tasting I attended, where some of the single malts at the core of the blends were shared too. It was love at first sight with two of those whiskys: Clynelish 14 and Talisker 10, both still very much a part of my whisky cabinet. The Talisker 10 is readily available in Israel, but not any of the other expressions.
On my recent visit to Berlin, I picked up a bottle of the cask strength 57° North, which called, of course, for a head butting of the two.
To my surprise, The two are very different, to the tunes of surf and turf….While the 10 is a totally maritime whisky (indeed, made by the sea), the 57° North is quite the terrestrial whisky, which I would more readily associate with the Western Highlands whisky than with a Talisker.
Talisker 10 (45.8% ABV)
Color: Amber, slow legs stay long as tears.
Nose: Peat, salt, malt, sea spray, vanilla, smoked fish – kippers, honey, pears, kiwi, dark chocolate and an overall light sweetness.
Palate: Brine, tangerines and other citrus, smooth and chewy with peat permeating the experience.
Linger: Medium and peppery with citrus sweetness in the back of the throat.
Talisker 57° North (57% ABV, NCF, NC)
Color: Gold, slow to collect and slide down glass.
Nose: Honey and orange peel, peat and lemon, very clean nose, faint spices and brine. With the addition of water: lemon in cardamom with some saffron. Hints of smoke from a beach fire and a lot less of the sea Than the Regular Talisker 10.
Palate: Lemon, licorice, orange, pepper and gentle spices in a very smooth chewy delivery.
Linger: Long and spicy citrus with blueberry notes.
As I mentioned above where is the Talisker 10 is very much of the sea the 57 North is more of a land whisky. Even the peat isn’t as maritime as the normal Skye or Islay peat making for a very interesting drink. I find this very interesting because tasting the Caol Ila Natural Cask Strength expression was very much the same experience with the 12-year-old being very much an Islay whisky while the cask strength had almost no Islay about it. I’ll be keeping my senses peeled for other Diageo regular expressions turned cask strength.