Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Dec 2010

Talisker 1986 (G&M Secret Stills 1.2)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Talisker

As some distilleries don’t allow independent bottlers to mention their name, Gordon & MacPhail invented the Secret Stills range. The ‘Isle of Skye’ clue gave it away though – the label doesn’t say Talisker but there’s only one distillery on Skye. This release was made up of three first fill sherry casks.


Talisker 1986 - Secret Stills 1.2Talisker 21 yo 1986 (45%, G&M Secret Stills 2007, cask #1361-1363, 1860 btl.)

Nose: starts in a lovely old-fashioned style, with wet dogs, some garage smells and peat smoke. Nice coastal notes as well: seaweed and soft iodine. Then it grows less austere, with creamy sherry notes, some oranges, vanilla and chocolate. Makes me think of much older Ardbeg in a way. Delicious. Mouth: a weakish, bittersweet attack with peat and Seville oranges. Some iodine again. Quite minty / herbal as well. Hints of liquorice and pepper. Finish: medium length, with smoke, herbal notes and liquorice.

A Talisker with a great balance between peat smoke and half-sweet sherry. Still available in some places. Around € 100 in the UK and € 140 in Europe. It beats me why certain lovely releases stay on the shelves for such a long time!

Score: 89/100

Talisker 1986 (G&M Secret Stills 1.2) 4 Ruben Luyten 2010-12-30
  • Michael

    Very interesting. Thank you Ruben.
    Let me take this opportunity to wish you very Happy New Year. I am looking forward to more interesting Notes from you :-)

  • http://www.whiskynotes.be Ruben

    Thanks Michael. Happy New Year to you too.

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  • SK: And just to prove a point, all of the bottles are still available in places where they usually run out. Lets see how many will be still available whe
  • SK: 2 years ago I tried the Caol Ila 1982 from Archives. What a fantastic whisky. Since then I always try to stock these Caol Ila from the 80s. Sadly no
  • WhiskyNotes: The real problem is that Caol Ila isn't selling (mature) casks to independent bottlers any more, from what I've heard, so chances are low we'll see mo

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1680 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.