Closeout "Deal"

We have an automated program that combs through our inventory and marks down long-standing products when they don't sell at the appropriate speed. That means I might walk into the store one day and say, "Holy Christ! When did we start selling ________ for that price?!" That happened today when I noticed we were selling the 1985 Talisker 28 Year Old for a loss (yes, for less than what we paid for it). I wasn't particularly surprised about the discount because, like I said, this type of thing happens. It was the fact that I had just tasted this whisky for the first time about a month ago and I was absolutely blown away. In all honesty, I think the 1985 Talisker is the best single malt whisky I've tasted in the last year; maybe even longer.

At my last tasting group we had old Lagavulin, old Port Ellen, an older bottle of Caol Ila 18, and numerous other relics of whisky's "golden" past; however, despite all of these wonderful single malts and their impeccible quality, I still think the superstar is the Talisker 28. Which is to say, I would take the Talisker 28 over the most recent edition of Port Ellen, over the stunning Lagavulin 37, and over any number of other bottles that are no longer available anyway. I wasn't alone in my praise. Many of my tasting group friends were also astonished by the Talisker—it's evocative salinity and intense brine character. At this stage in the game, when you've tasted so many delicious whiskies from all over the world, you're not just looking for quality, but also for individuality. I've never had a Talisker with this much maritime action. It invokes the sea and coastal air in a way that few Islay whiskies I've tasted ever have.

I haven't done much investigating online to see what other critics think about the 1985 Talisker, so I don't know if it was a boom or a bust with the experts (nor do I really care). All I'll tell you is that if you like Island whiskies and you're looking to treat yourself, you can capitalize right now our loss. It's not often that we can't sell something this good for a profit.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll