Talisker 8 Year Old (Diageo Special Releases 2018) Review

Yesterday was all about Cladach the blended malt in Diageo Special Releases 2018 and today it’s all about the most eagerly waited member of the line up (at least for me) – Talisker 8 Year Old at Cask Strength.

Until now we didn’t see any young Talisker at Cask strength in the Special Releases line up, hence the hype and expectations for this 2009 vintage targeted at the masses and bottled at a hefty 59.4% ABV.

Talisker 2009 8 Year Old (59.4%, £67.50)

Nose: Sweet with honey and pears, then comes soft peat smoke. There’s Crème brûlée, a drop of vanilla, cake dough, soft crushed black pepper, gentle saltiness and minerals. After a few minutes there’s also brine in addition to the salt. Overall quite a mellow and soft nose.

Palate: Far Peatier, smoke, lots of honey, crushed black pepper, pears, cereals pudding, gentle wet ashes (thankfully not dry), brine and salt.

Finish: Medium length, briney and salty, large sized black pepper shells, honey and oak spice, lingering spices and peat smoke.

Thoughts: I’d say it’s a very decent whisky and a very well done one – It’s tasty with good balance of flavours. But I know some people came out disappointed after tasting it. I think it might be explained by the hype and high expectations that preceded the release and lack of availability and higher prices across Europe (UK excluded) that made people to look for some otherworldly experience from this whisky. But it’s a nice whisky, just not a bottle I’d buy at this price. Chuck it down to £45 and we’ll talk again.

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