Expression: 8 year old
Extra info: Distilled in 2009, bottled in 2018. One of 4680 bottles.
This release by Talisker was much anticipated last year, due to the limited amount of bottles produced, the fact that it’s aged in ‘Deep-charred’ first fill ex-bourbon casks and mostly because of the fact that it was bottled at cask strength. It all sounds like a recipe for a whopper of a dram. I usually like the Talisker style, but some expressions (I’m looking at you, Storm) have left me disappointed. High expectations here, so let’s give it a try.
Nose: Very Talisker, with its peppery kick right away, the vanilla sweetness, the salty tang and the smoke. The fruit seems more tropical here though; juicy, ripe pineapple, maybe some melon and sweet orange.
Taste: Sweet on arrival, with vanilla again and lemon this time. This quickly changes into a salty, peppery punch in the face, a real kick in the teeth. After the taste buds have calmed down there’s a bitter oaky note, quickly followed by that mouth filling, salty vanilla pastry smoky fruit basket that I’ve come to love from this distillery.
Finish: Really warm going down, with lingering smoke, seaweed, the oaky bitterness less prominent but still there, and vanilla at the very end.
Overall: High expectations aren’t always good and can often only lead to disappointment, but not in this case. A real monstertruck of a whisky, with big flavours, a hefty mouth feel and a rewarding finish.
Rating: 4 stars (86-90 range)