Earlier this year, Talisker brought out a no-age statement (NAS) whisky called Storm, which was intended as a bit of a step-up from its entry-level whisky, Talisker 10.
At the time, I spoke with Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s head of whisky outreach, about the decision to bring out an NAS whisky and he mentioned the company would also be launching another NAS called Port Ruighe in the near future.
The Port Ruighe (pronounced Port-Ree in case you were puzzled) hit shelves in western Europe in late April and has been named after the main town on the Isle of Skye. It is constructed from a combination of whisky matured in European and American oak refill casks, and whisky matured in oak casks which have been heavily charred. Those whiskies are then married and transferred into ex-port casks for finishing. The whisky, which is bottled at 45.8%, is currently selling at companies such as The Whisky Exchange for around £45.
I have had a chance to try a sample, which was sent to me, and so without further adieu here are my thoughts:
Talisker Port Ruighe: 45.8% ABV:
(C): Amber Sunset
(N): Pepper and lemon marinated smoked salmon. The colour ruby came to mind as did scorched earth, vanilla and a hint of marzipan. With water, more of a cake note came through plus something a bit soapy that I likened to lemon dish soap. There was also a note of wax candles, something chalky and the smell of a new pair of trainers.
(P): First thought: ‘Intriguing!’ Quite an oily, rich mouthfeel, followed by a sharp, citrus acidity and spicy bite. But then, a lovely sweetness emerged that I likened to black pepper tempered by clotted cream and red wine poached pears. With water, still fiery smoke (that scorched earth note in the nose came through like that on the palate) but more fruity notes emerged. There was also almost something tropical in background and a bit of meaty flavours as well.
(F): Chocolate at first then a bitterness, like the flavour profile of cocoa. With water, sausages on a campfire with black peppercorns.
In conclusion, despite the fiery hit, I preferred the flavours on the nose and palate on this without water more. Intriguing mix of classic Talisker with a sweeter taste that was pleasant. I wasn’t a massive fan of the finish (it was a bit bitter on my palate) and the nose wasn’t my favourite of the Taliskers but I really enjoyed the palate, which made me stop and puzzle for a while. One for a chilly night by a campfire.