Half the pleasure is in seeking the treasure. It’s not that this whisky is the best whisky ever made. But in nosing the glass and enjoying the spirit, we are participating in the golden age of whisky experimentation and re-definition.
Reminds me of an orange and almond cake I make. Caramelised vanilla sugar crust with the sharpness of citrus developing. Now I taste elements of Persian orange water. Slowly more baked apple emerges with cinnamon and nutmeg. Big, tobacco leaf and old leather starts to emerge out the back where the peat overtakes any leftover smoke. Now it’s starting to feel like a true Ardbeggian expression.
The bottle alone is something to gaze at. Be warned, it doesn’t pour that well and takes a practiced hand. You’ll get plenty of practice though, because for a young whisky it exudes character beyond its years. Not surprisingly, because this is a Talisker and I believe whisky is indelibly marked by the people who make it and the place comes into being from.
Delightful things happen when delicious ingredients are shaken, muddled, thrown, stirred and strained together. Scotch whisky is notoriously difficult to use in cocktails, however there are a few classics that not only stand up to Scotch whisky but cry out for the complexity, richness and smoke of a classic Islay single malt like Ardbeg.
The crisp white wall of the distillery buildings and the signature name etched along the foreshore stands firm and concrete. I wandered down to the foreshore and skipped stones into the sea, smelt the freshness of the ocean and thought to myself, some things find a way to survive so long as they are loved.
We used to say if on a bad day you ended up at Mea Culpa and on a good day you started there, then everything was going to be okay.