Friday 5 January 2018

Talisker 1986 G&M 'Secret Stills' Review

Hi everyone,

Now this one is a whisky I’ve always wanted to try. I’m a big big fan of Talisker, and I’m also a big big fan of independent bottlings. Unfortunately, independent bottlings of Talisker are pretty hard to come by if you want anything that’s been aged for more than 8 years. 

But if you know your stuff, you might know that Gordon & MacPahil had some Talisker that they released under their ‘Secret Stills’ labels. Well, it’s not a huge secret if you say it’s single malt from the Isle of Skye, as there’s only the one. A sightless, maimed monkey could figure that out. You know, if he knew anything about whisky.
So this one I hunted down at The Haig, where there happened to be (as there often are in The Netherlands) a collector at the show with a bunch of epic whisky he is selling drams of.
Isle of Skye Single Malt 1986 Gordon & MacPhail 45%
Colour: Amber
Body: Full
Nose: Great balance of slightly dirty smoke, spicy black pepper and sherried sweetness. Maritime notes behind, interesting old Glenfarlcas-esque soap, very old school style. Chocolate, malty, slightly heathery, something meaty- BBQ char. After a bit of time there's strawberry.
Taste: Lovely soft arrival, Sherry, raisin, builds up nicely with black pepper, salty smoke, stewed fruit, red apple. Everything you want from an older Talisker. Really sits on the palate, great mouthfeel.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Fades quite quickly with sweetness from the sherry, orange.
Bottled 2007, 1st fill Sherry casks. Really complex nose but the finish lets this down a bit. Which is a shame, as I was expecting amazing things from this. As it is, it’s probably only just better than the 18yo.

Thanks for reading!

Scotch Review #535
Whisky Network Review #630

Network Average: 74.6
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 22
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.

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