Review: Talisker Forests of the Deep 44 Years Old

Review: Talisker Forests of the Deep 44 Years Old

It’s not every day we get a 44 year old single malt on our doorsteps, particularly one with a pedigree as rich as Talisker‘s. This is actually the oldest Talisker release ever, a tiny release of 1997 bottles globally (102 in the U.S.), the branding inspired by an expedition led by Parley for the Oceans, Talisker’s partner in ocean conservation, to one of the world’s largest sea kelp forests near the Cape of Good Hope.

The trip to “The Great African Sea Forest” saw a team of scientists, activists and filmmakers working to better understand these habitats, “which are crucial in sequestering carbon and preserving global ecosystems.” Talisker outfitted the ship with some of its cask staves, which were later charred using a small amount of sustainable Scottish sea kelp and stave wood shavings. These “marine oak casks” were then used to finish the whisky before bottling.

It’s quite a story and quite a whisky, to boot, the darkest Talisker I’ve ever seen, landing somewhere between dark tea and weak coffee. Quite salty and (less) peppery on the nose, the maritime heart of the whisky is worn on its sleeve, folding in gentle aromas of bonfire smoke and a winey character mixed with orange peel that evokes oloroso sherry. (There’s no information on the primary aging, surprisingly.)

The palate immediately pricks the tongue with notes of clove-studded tangerine, oily roasted nuts, and a big rush of salty pepper bacon. Things build from here: A lightly drying charred wood character, iodine, culminating in a hint of soy and sesame. A seaweed note is what clings on the tongue the longest, offering that lightly green, sea-sprayed, gently vegetal quality that can only be borne from the deep. Sustainably, of course.

98.2 proof.


Talisker Forests of the Deep 44 Years Old




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