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But there are two Talisker 20's:
1981, 62%, sherry casks only, 9,000 bottles
1982, 58.8%, bourbon casks only, 12,000 bottles
I tasted the 1982 58.8% at Whisky Live and it definitely has zero "sherry presence." The 2003/2004 Diageo Special Releases booklet also describes it as "a fine contrast with its predecessor twenty years old sherry cask bottling."
I can only draw the conclusion that the 1981 sherry bottling is the intended second place winner and that the 58.8% abv is a mistake. Unfortunately, this mistake will lead readers to seek out a very different whisky from the one described in the list.
In the meantime, I had the opportunity to sample the two Talisker 20's mentioned above back-to-back last Friday when Danish whisky retailer Scotspain offered a tasting celebrating your Top 10 (nos. 1-2-3-4-7-10). When I pointed out the problem to our host, he promptly brought out both bottles for comparison.
I am now more convinced than ever that your second place winner is the 1981 sherry bottling and that the 58.8% abv, therefore, is an error on your part.
It is the 62% , bottling of 9000, that is the pinnacle of Talisker's work...
They were mostly bottled in 2001 but the bottling ran into the beginning of 2002 as well.
If only there was more....
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