For a few years now, the Talisker is one of the most anticipated options among the yearly Special Releases. The distillery doesn’t regularly release new offerings and they’re among the younger and more affordable choices in this series.
In the Special Releases 2020 there is this Talisker 8 Years, which has been finished in Jamaican pot still rum casks. It was distilled in 2011.
Talisker 8 yo 2011 (57,9%, OB Special Releases 2020, Caribbean rum finish)
Nose: a slightly funky mix of maritime notes (oyster shells, dried seaweed) with olive brine and pickled gherkins, but also pear drops, lime and a little roasted pineapple. Some mashy notes, toasted wood and heathery notes. The rum is quite shy.
Mouth: classic young Talisker with white pepper, heather smoke and a hint of antiseptic with added notes of ripe banana. Sweet and salty, on olives and saltwater, as well as lemons and a drop of soy sauce.
Finish: not too long, slightly hot, with green apple and white pepper.
Mixed feelings. While the recipe is pretty good, the rum feels a little underexposed, leaving the spirit to display its slightly immature side. Maybe not the highlight that some people make of it. Available from The Whisky Exchange or TyndrumWhisky for instance, or your local retailer of course.