Talisker is known for its lightly peated salty maritime character, situated on the Isle of Sky. Part of the Diageo stable of whiskies, their range has been quite stable over the years with a 10 year, 18 year, Storm… More recently, they have launched some variations with whiskies matured to 8 years – one of which I tried as an ‘Old Particular’ mini from Douglas Laing – quite a pleasant dram that hit the spot in colder climes…
So what did we think of this new cask strength experiment?
Talisker 8 year (2020) Rum Finish 57.9%
- Nose – Hay, heather, leather, comes across as ‘dry’ yet also has a rum sweetness and raisins, heavy on the ripe bananas joined by other tropical fruit, some roasted pineapple, a hint of coconut and pepper spice chased by a light curl of smoke and sea spray
- Palate – Jeera (cumin) tamarind ‘goli’… loads of bitter (almost edging into bitter gourd) that initially got in the way of discerning other elements… gradually easing into a roasted black pepper, followed by a sour rum, steeped neem leaves – slightly astringent, then salty
- Finish – There but… didn’t have any predominant notes – perhaps a bit of black licorice at the end?
- Revisit – After setting aside, when returned the rum dimension was much more evident – in a good way!
Whilst clearly not a typical Talisker, the light peat, pepper, and saline maritime elements were there. The rum certainly took it in a different direction however it wasn’t entirely harmonious. The nose was the most appealing part with the palate more curious than enjoyable and the finish almost forgettable.
I realized much later that I wasn’t in the least bit tempted to try with water – though this was at cask strength. Perhaps that would have brought out different elements and tempered the slightly strange palate.
So what more do we know? This is part of the Diageo Special Releases 2020 and was finished in pot-distilled Jamaican rum casks.
What else? There was also care taken with the packaging – certainly upping their ‘game’… Not just with this special edition – they have also refreshed their standard range too.
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