Nose: This one needs time to open up. Very bright sherry fruits with that earthy, mineral-rich Talisker peat. Strawberry licorice, Cointreau, pine, seaweed, dark chocolate, almond extract, and a gentle oakiness.
Palate: Very nice arrival, with peat coming on first. Toffee, earth, peat, almond, cherry, charred meat, mesquite barbecue sauce.
Finish: This is where it becomes unquestionably Talisker. As soon as those mineral notes kick in, the house style becomes apparent. Sautéed mushrooms in soy sauce, limestone, vanilla, earthy peat, honey and metal. Unlike the 10 this also has cherries, cinnamon, dark chocolate, bitter orange rind, and cocktail bitters. Medium long.
Thoughts: This is good, but it’s not great. While it’s well-made and dangerously drinkable, it’s just a bit too… predictable. There are some lovely peat and sherry flavours, but they don’t come together in any kind of unexpected way. It tastes a bit TOO much like I expected it to. It tastes like Talisker 10 + sherry, without any of the quirks, twists, or eccentricities that make great whiskies so much fun. When I drink this, all I can think about is that I prefer the 10. I consider it cheaper, better, and more confident. That being said; you could do a lot worse than this. Goes down very easy.