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Island of Skye Scotland Talisker Distillery

Talisker 15yo Special Release 2019

Review of the 2019 SR in Talisker's Rare by Nature guise.

Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 57.3%ABV
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon charred
Chillfiltered: No
Added coloring: No
Owner: Diageo
Average price: € 128.00
Official website: taliskerwhisky.com
Vote: 90/100

While waiting (I hope) to try this year’s version (an 8 year old finished in Caribbean rum, a first for Talisker), here I have the 2019 edition in my glass, the first in the Rare by Nature guise which some found a little off-putting but many found pleasantly elegant and evocative.

Cask strength bottling, dutifully au naturel, I admit to having rather high expectations.

Gold with copper highlights in the glass.
The peat is delicately smoky, surrounded by sweet, soft tones of candied orange, coconut, almonds, caramelised brown sugar, cinnamon, marzipan and vanilla. Honey shortbread. Over time, the aromas blend more, in an impression of freshly lit pipe tobacco. Enveloping.
If it was well absorbed on the nose, on the palate the alcohol content rises into a tingling peppery warmth, as it should be, accompanying a salty and oily core that mitigates the sweeter components, dominated by dried fruit (almonds and hazelnuts), orange juice, honey and vanilla. The smoke becomes more intense while remaining in the gentle tones of the pipe, with a slight roughness of leather and wood in the background.
The finish is long and salty with hazelnuts, orange, vanilla, tobacco and leather.

An unusual Talisker, recognisable yet different, smooth and (dangerously) drinkable, with a sweetness that is not at all banal or pandering and which wins you over.

Other bottlings in the blog:
Talisker 8yo Special Release 2018
Talisker 8yo Special Release 2020
Talisker 10yo
Talisker 18yo
Talisker 25yo
Talisker 57° North
Talisker 2008 The First Editions
Talisker Dark Storm
Talisker Distillers Edition 2019
Talisker Port Ruighe
Talisker Select Reserve Game of Thrones – House Greyjoy
Talisker Skye
Talisker Storm

Other perspectives:
Peated Perfection

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