Whisky Review: Talisker Aged 15 Years Diageo Special Release 2019

Style: Sweet, Woody and Spicy

Wood shavings and fat toffee melding with iodine and oysters, got to say it is a curious combination, but it works out pretty well, not sure if it is everybody’s cup of tea though. Chilli spike, then in comes assorted dried fruits, mostly tropical, decorated with wood varnish, acrylic, paprika and plenty of signature white pepper. As the sweetness slowly retreats, the tone becomes increasingly maritime – mineral notes, moss and limestone at the bottom. Some sour, green fruits tugged at the back, quite nice.

The virgin oak continues to be quite outspoken and controls the palate – pencil shavings, cinnamon sugar, caramel, coffee jelly and dried paint. Tropical fruits, crystalized pineapple and mangoes unwinding overtime just as the woody side begins to dissipate. Maritime and smoky notes remain quite soft, sea rocks and unshucked oysters with a bit of damp moss, seasoned with abundant pepper and dried chilli. The vanillic oak sweetness staying till the end.

Fragrance of toasted oak lingering in the air, cinnamon sugar dusted on dark cherries and peaches. A satisfyingly sweet and woody finish.

This is a Talisker driven by virgin oak/ freshly charred cask, at least for me, this is a new and entertaining experience on this much beloved distillery. The caramelised wood component is the main character while the maritime, peppery spirit steps back to play a more supportive role. It seems there is no buzzing synergy between them like some other distillates do with virgin oak (like Yoichi), but the expression is steady, coherent with intensity. Not my favourite Talisker but it is still a very decent one.

☆ [Recommended]

[57.3% | Original Bottling | Natural Cask Strength | Limited Edition | *-]