Thanks to /u/nsquare14 for sending me some samples. Really appreciate these, as he sent me some I’ve never reviewed as a thank you for the reviews.
Talisker: One of those “odd ones out” whiskies. Ready? Let’s list why:
First off, it’s peated. Quite a bit. So it’s from Islay, right? No, it’s from the Isle of Skye. So it’s an island. Not odd, however, if we look at other Island whiskies, there’s usually a different rub. Like cask finishes or malts without peat or something like that.
Second up: Owned by Diageo. Just like Lagavulin and Caol Ila. We can get our hands on many IB Caol Ila, and as long as you know the alternative names, you can find IB Lagavulins. However finding a random independently bottled one has alluded me over the last 5 years, 100 bars, and various counties. They seem to hold onto their casks quite hard.
Finally, where were they on the night the duchess died? What if they were the butler?
Wait, that last one is insane. We all know where they were that night. Too many true crime podcasts for me!
So we have a whisky that’s mentioned with the big hitters of Islay, that’s not from Islay. One that’s over 175 years old, and celebrated this birthday in 2005. With what?
Talisker 175th Anniversary, that’s how. Personally I’d use balloons, however, I don’t have a warehouse full of Scotch… yet.
So Talisker 175th Anniversary released with 60,000 bottles that came about from vattings of 10 year old to 35 year old whiskies.
But how did it taste? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Number of Bottles: 60,000
Colour: 10YR 8/10
Note: Caramel, spiced pear tart, cocoa, buttered toast, almond
Interesting nose. Lovely almond, grains, and the peat range from that deep cocoa and lovely cloves as well.
One of those drams that I take extra time to the nose, just because it’s so tasty.
Taste: Brine, orange, smoke, lemon, parsnip, BBQ chips
Watery. Which is too bad. I know that the current standard for Talisker is to release everything at 45.8%. And that’s better than accountant’s strength (40%). However this is really watery tasting, so I wish they had upped it a little bit.
Interesting earthy notes here. It’s smokey, citrus, and earthy. Some sweets and time gives us more of all of that coming together.
Finish: Cloves, pear, smoke, clove, BBQ brisket
Nice spice filled finish. Lovely meat and rich. Parts of it is sweet, and part of it is cloves. So much so I wrote it twice. There’s a lot of spice and meatiness.
Conclusion: An interesting dram. First off, I don’t think it suffered from different ages at all. Rather I think that’s part of its strength. The effect of peat after 20+ years with the young sprites is awesome.
That said, this is watery. And that loses out a lot of marks for me. It feels like there was intricate, subtle parts lost. The finish is hurt as well, though not as bad as it could be. So while I enjoyed this, I’d love to find an older one that’s at full strength.
Scotch review #886, Island review #100, Whisky Network review #1417