About this blog:

This blog will feature tasting notes, reviews, distillery visits and whisky news with focus mainly on Scottish single malts. This will sometimes be accompanied by politically incorrect (whisky) opinions. You have now been warned! :-)
The views expressed here are entirely my own, unless otherwise stated.

Monday, 17 June 2013


It's been 3½ years since I've been to the Isle of Skye... and I'm beginning to think its been too long now, since I'm absolutely captivated by its rugged landscape providing some of the most stunning views in Scotland. I absolutely love the drive around the north of the island and over to Elgol from where you can get some amazing views of the mighty Cuillin hills.

Skye's only distillery - Talisker - is also a regular stop to me when I've been to Skye. It's a peppery medium peated dram is a good winter warmer and the 10yo is a great standard dram.
I've also enjoyed a bottle of the 57' North Talisker, but what really stuns me is their older expressions - the 20yo-25yo bottlings are world class drams... I've not yet have a chance to try one of their 30yo expressions, let alone the 35yo :-O

Talisker is one of those distilleries we don't see many independent bottlings from, so I always welcome a chance to try one. I've had a couple of indie Taliskers before I started The Malt Desk, but didn't take notes on them, but on that really stood out as an absolute cracker was the 1992 14yo 58,8% by French bottler Jean Boyer.

Talisker warehouse, Isle of Skye, 14th October 2009 - © The Malt Desk
This time I'll be reviewing a 10yo - a fun thing to do since the standard Talisker release is also a 10yo, though it it hardly compariable since the 10yo I'll be reviewing is a single cask.

Douglas Laing must have an standing agreement with Diageo and Talisker not to name the distillery name on the label (much like they do with Glenfarclas) so this release is called...

'Tactical' 1999 (xx.12.1999/xx.12.2009) 10yo, 50% refill bourbon hogshead#DL5704, 354 bottles, Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask series

Colour is pale yellow

Seaside, kelp and salt but also very farmyardy with sweet manure like smell, sweet peat, touch of vanilla and mint... a bit disappointing but that is it...

Peated wash and yeasty, fresh cut grass then peat again, some oak spices and barley juice and a bit of stale beer.

Must say this was a bit of a disappointment on the palate as well and one of the few duds from Douglas Laing - but you can't win them all :-/

I'd take the standard 10yo distillery bottling over this any time!

Thanks to MBO for the sample!


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