Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Sherry Butt
Added coloring: No
Owner: Hunter Laing & Company
Average price: € 114.00
Official website: hunterlaing.com
Having tried the 8 year old Talisker in this year’s Diageo Special Release, here in my hands is a version that is only a year older but with completely different characteristics.
As with all the bottles in The First Editions series, this is in fact a single cask, specifically ex-Sherry, which, filled in 2008, produced no less than 342 cask strength bottles in 2018, all of them unadulterated.
It’s difficult to approach the glass without expectations, I try to be objective but, as you know, whisky is first and foremost emotion, so it isn’t easy…
Light gold with copper highlights in the glass.
The nose profile is of iodized peat and maritime, from smoked herring, with spicy touches of cardamom and ginger. It’s gentler than it sounds, however, with notes of candied orange, ripe peach, mango and chocolate rounding out the aromas. Over time it becomes softer and rounder, with sweet impressions of toasted caramel and sultanas emerging with vigour.
In the mouth, the inevitably peppery note of Talisker is exalted, with a slight alcoholic sting that immediately fades into oceanic billows sprinkled with spices (ginger, nutmeg), toasted pistachio, apple strudel (with cinnamon and pine nuts), orange peel, caramel, leather and tobacco. Mineral and smoky peat flows at the bottom of each sip, in an ashy embrace that caps the aromas. The palate is decidedly rougher than the nose, albeit without too much conviction.
The finish is quite long with ashes, salt, dried fruit, spices and caramel.
A gentle Talisker, perhaps too gentle, lacking the decisive drive that makes it truly unique and special.
Of course, it’s still a great dram, but it doesn’t offer that extra bit of originality to make it memorable.