Friday, February 10, 2012

Talisker Distillers Edition - a superb marriage of Arctic desolation and Mediterranean sunny splendor

Over the past decade the Diageo Classic Malts have each offered a "Distiller's Edition" where the primary malt receives additional aging in a second fill cask that once held a vinous product. In Talisker's case they use big grape Oloroso sherry butts. They have a release each year. Reviewed today is the 2005 vintage.

Color: rich orangey amber

Nose: candied orange peel, white raisins, sherry, brine, band aids, and the characteristic Talisker old hatbox wood.

Intense vinous sherry sweetness that builds into midpalate with toffee, citrus and Turkish delight and hard candy flavors. At midpalate the citrus explodes into juicy intensity. At the turn to the finish there's a burst of floral essences - confused and humid like a quick tuck into a steamy raucous flower shop. Then the finish brings the cavalcade of classic maritime flavors up: salt sea air, mineral rock, old attic hatbox wood and a final bitter medicinal iodine note. Wow. I'm dizzy just writing it down. This is a tour de force of delicious flavors melded with maritime weird ones. It's totally recognizable as Talisker - the terroir of Skye is all over it. But the second fill coopering in oloroso sherry casks marries in rich sweet fruits that elevate, not detract. Wonderful!


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