Talisker Distillers Edition 2015 Review


Country: Scotland
Region: Highlands - Islands - Skye
Brand: Talisker Distillers Edition 2015 (TD-S 5RD) 
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 10 Years 
ABV: 45.8% 
Chill-Filtration: Likely
Whisky Review # 599
Buying Advice: 😄  Positive. Good Malt and Excellent Price/Quality Ratio.

Colour: Chestnut/Oloroso Sherry (Likely Artificially Coloured)

Nose: A Coastal Malt without any doubt! My first impression is Tarred Driftwood and I will certainly sniff the air around this Distillery during my upcoming visit in May this year! After a while this Wood mingles with a mix of Salted Nuts and Dried Fruit (Sultanas, Raisins, Apricots and Plums). These are the main drivers on the Nose of this Talisker. I also find Sweet Barley, Toasted Cereals, Brown Sugar, Toffee, Vanilla, Dirty Earth, Distant Factory Smoke, Sour Apples, Citrus Peel, Floral Perfume, light Iodine, Leather, Dusty Old Books, Dried Herbs, Light Aniseed, Pepper and Menthol. The Alcohol is quite present! The Sherry casks were very active considering the fact that this Talisker was only finished in those casks for a couple of months. I could imagine that regular Talisker 10 drinkers would feel that the Sherry overpowers some of the original characteristics but personally I feel that Talisker Spirit and Sherry go well together. 

Palate: Good delivery thanks to the adequate ABV. On the Palate, this Talisker is mostly Sweet with some Bitter and Sour notes as well. I find Sweet Barley, Toasted Oak, Vanilla, Toffee, Butterscotch, Salted Nuts, Brine, Dirty Earth, light Smoke, Cocoa Powder, Sour Apples, Smoked Fish on the BBQ, Leather, Ashes, Pepper, Cinnamon, Mustard, Aniseed, Licorice, Dried Herbs and Menthol.

Finish: Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet, Spicy and Ashy. A little Dry and slightly Sour towards the end. I find Sweet Barley, Malted Cereals, Dirty Earth, light Smoke, Wet Stone, Brine, Salted Fish sprinkled with Lemon, Salted Nuts, Cocoa Powder, Grapefruit Juice, Sour Apples, Leather, Licorice, Pepper, Cinnamon, Mint and a mere hint of Dark Chocolate. It is not as Peppery as the regular 10 Years but it's still tasty enough. The Finish really invites you to take another sip!   

I added a little Water and on the Nose you get more Floral Perfume, Lemon and Grapefruit. The Dirty Earth and Peat develop on the Palate together with some Juicy Oranges. With a little Water you'll get rid of most of the Alcohol and that's not a bad thing in this case. This Talisker certainly accepts a little water and I must admit I liked it both ways!  

Rating: 86.5   

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21.5 - Finish: 22 - Overall: 21.5

General Remarks:

The Talisker distillery is located in Carbost on the shores of Loch Harport on the Isle of Skye. It was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill and produces around 3 million litres of Alcohol per year. It is part of the Diageo Group. Almost on a yearly basis, a Distillers Edition is launched, usually a more or less Standard 10 Years expression that received a Sherry Cask Finish. The 2015 Edition was distilled in 2005. It matured for around 10 years in Ex-Bourbon casks before finished for a couple of months in Ex-Amoroso Sherry casks. It won't be easy to find these days but prices were usually in the 60-70 US Dollar range (March 2017). In the meantime, the Distillers Edition is part of Talisker's core range.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good stuff and not too expensive!

Conclusion: I must admit that I'm a fan of the Talisker 10 and Talisker 18. The first one is wild and rough with this unforgettable Pepper jive and the latter one is well-balanced, especially on the Palate. This 2015 Distillers Edition has a bit of both of them and I quite liked it as well. It's kind of rough on the Nose, more balanced on the Palate and with an inviting Finish. Good Price/Quality ratio as well. I will certainly try and taste the more recent Distillers Edition during my visit to Talisker. It won't be easy to find but I can certainly recommend the 2015 DE! Much better than their recent NAS expressions!   

Jan van den Ende                                                                      March 2, 2017

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