In most, if not all, of the older expressions that i have tasted - anything from 20y and older there was always that lurking, in the shadows "dark side" of that particular distillery, something that I could never really place, either in the smell, taste or after-taste, but always somthing that made me want to go back and try and pin down that ellusive element.
So now I think that its these "special" casks, and their spesifc impact on the vatted malts, that bring this dark character to the expression. Its like there is good and bad in all of us, and under different circumstances different elements show up. In my case, i think i have pinned down the Darth Vadar of Talisker, and it lives in this bottel of 23y old OMC Tactical!!
Or maybe i just had one to many this evening...
In any bottling of whisky that is greater than 18yo, you always run the risk of getting something that has simply spent too much time in the oak. You'll find the whisky either has little life or sparkle, or it's simply too drying and astringent.
Fortunately, there are some absolute gems out there that make the risk worth it. Some of the best whiskies I've ever tasted were 30+ years, and were an absolute treat for my palate.
(e.g. SMWS Longmorn 36yo, G+M Strathisla 1948, Macallan 1967, SMWS Longmorn 38yo, MacKillops Choice Glen Grant 1966, SMWS Glenfarclas 40yo)
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