Talisker Bodega Series is where the wild of Skye meets the warmth of Spain. This is a journey across the sea from Skye to Spain and around the historic coastal wineries of the Sherry Triangle, where Talisker once sourced its casks generations before.
The first in the series is an exploration of an age-old relationship rooted in craft and excellence, selecting casks from Delgado Zuleta by the coastal town Sanlucar de Barrameda. Talisker cask ledgers in 1900 recorded a strong trading relationship with this Bodega, the oldest winery in the Marco de Jerez region and supplier of wine to the King of Spain. To craft this homage, Malt Master Dr Craig Wilson combined traditional craft skills with modern maturation techniques.
First, he selected the most mature and highly prized 1978 Vintage 40 year old Talisker, aged in refill casks. Then, the Sherry Masters of Bodega Zuleta hand picked five casks that had held the Bodega’s finest award-winning 40-year-old Amontillado sherry - the pinnacle of their sherry production. These casks that once began the journey of a remarkable 40-year-old sherry, would now travel across the sea to finish the journey of a remarkable 40-year-old Talisker.
The result is a sensational echo of the old Talisker, enhanced by the gentle accent of the sherry casks, with rich raisin, peaty aromas and a rare, sweet opulence and fruity smokiness. Its unique intensity builds a Talisker trademark peppery kick, to introduce a soothing long finish.
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Deep, limpid gold. Good beading.
Mild and rich, with light nose prickle. The sweet fruitiness of sultanas and pears in syrup, then orange peel, framed in oiled sandalwood, with a salty suggestion of seaweed or sea air in the middle, on a base of faintly smoky raw sugar. Water brings up a buttery note of short crust pastry and a waxy hint.
Most appealing. At natural strength, the texture is very fine; oil-smooth and lightly coating. The taste starts sweetly fruity - white grapes, more sultanas - then becomes sea-salty and savoury, before finishing hot and peppery. As the sweet waves of flavour roll out across the palate, they break over a hint of that Talisker trademark, hot chilli spice, and some scented smoke. There's great balance and vigour throughout. Adding water may tame the fire a little, but the lion remains wild at heart.
Long and warming, with a late, great tongue-tingling nuttiness in the embers as the fire slips down, and a last smoky trace of snuffed candle.