Thursday, 9 May 2013

Whisky Discovery #409

Talisker Port Ruighe NAS (45.8%)
Island Single Malt
circa £45.00 70cl
This is the second of two new recently introduced Talisker whiskies which we have been fortunate to receive review samples of. It's also the first ever Talisker release which has been double matured in ruby port casks.

It has been named Port Ruighe after the ancient name of the principal town and port on the Isle of Skye Portree or Port Righ to use it's current Gaelic name. Like the recently released Storm, Port Ruighe is a permanent addition to the current core range of single malts.

Master Blender Maureen Robinson explains: “Talisker Port Ruighe is a combination of spirit that has been matured in American Oak and European Oak refill casks in the traditional manner along with spirit that has been filled into specially conditioned deeply charred casks. The spirit is then finished in casks that have previously held Port Wine which endows it with spicy fruit notes. These bond elegantly with that clean, fresh smokiness that signals its essential Talisker character.”

So What Did We Think?

Kat: Nose: Wood charcoal, fresh Victoria plumbs at peak ripeness, little bit of mahogany wood, sticky raisins, butter notes, spices – cloves & cinnamon. Overall reminds me of very rich fruit cake. I swear I can even pick out a bit of blanched almonds. With water it’s like a dampened fire, more mossy earthy smells, instead of fruit cake it’s more Victoria sponge, and the only spice present is sweet cinnamon. 

Taste: Initially a sweet/sour taste, not unpleasant but hard to described, almost like Balsamic vinegar. This doesn't stay for very long, is replaced by maple syrup notes with a melt-in-the mouth quality, wood notes and wood smoke follows (their signature flavours as you would expect), spices – just cloves this time, towards the end there was some bitterness and oil from lemon zest. This bitterness and the smoky characters balances out the sweet notes so it’s not sickly sweet. With water, it becomes more smooth and silky. Is sweeter but mellow, with some smoke which reminds me of the smell of pipe tobacco, or cigars. And instead of raisins, it’s more like sultanas, not as rich. No spicy 

Finish: Tingly warm from spices (more from cloves), leaving a little bit of a dry mouth feel with bitter black coffee notes at the end. A long lingering finish. With water it is not as intense, there is still some warmth, little bit of spices with wood smoke at the end. 

Overall it’s a very nice dram, which is just as nice with or without water, would very much depend on my mood but I do like it’s adaptability. Short summary I would say robust and punchy without water, mellow but still retains a full body character with water. 

Dave: The nose comes across as sweet with strong notes of caramel at first before that peppery maritime note Talisker is famed for comes through. With notes of oiled hemp rope, damp peat and a touch of brine, the Port cask influence brings the fruity flavours of ripe plums, and throughout there's a sweet smokiness.

This is really quite smooth and mouth-coating. It's sweet to taste at first, before a peat reek comes through before the hot pepper builds and fades back to a creamy smokiness. The ripe plums come through on the palate and there is even a hint of cherry. The finish is long and lingering with a drying smokiness.

Verdict: Again I really quite enjoyed this one, am I going to rush out and buy a bottle? Probably not, as previously mentioned on the Storm post, my wish list is long and I really want to add a bottle of Distiller's Edition and their 18 Year Old to my shelf beforehand, but I would happily have this on my shelf.

And finally, many thanks for Talisker's PR team for sending us the sample, photograph and information. For more information take a look at their website;  Talisker Whisky

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