Talisker 2001 Distillers Edition

Goodbye to all that

Every year needs its vintage release, at least as far as the flagship distilleries of the Diageo group are concerned. To give the year 2016 a proper send off, I opened a special single malt released in 2012: regular Talisker with a finish of amaroso sherry. Amaroso? Apparently it is the old terminology for a sweetened Oloroso, a sherry that usually known for its dry character. Coincidently 2012 was the year that the Andalusian government forbade the usage of the term Oloroso for this type of sherry. It could explain why the old name was used here.

 distilled in 2001, matured for 11years in bourbon casks and bottled at 45.8% ABV in 2012 after a finish in amaroso sherry casks by Talisker for their annual distiller’s edition.

Nose: surprisingly soft nosed, an almost leafy take on Talisker. A bouquet of buttered popcorn, raisins and brine. I can distinguish sea weed (though subdued), salted caramel, licorice wood and herring.

Mouth: light bodied, quite fresh but also on the bitter side. On the palate: pepper, polish and smoke, strips of leather, soy sauce and a touch of menthol.

Finish: medium long with more brine, wood polish and a menthol edge.

The Verdict: the sherry is quite well integrated, even hard to detect and certainly not sweet. It seems to have changed the Talisker profile quite a bit. The peaty touch that is distinctive for the distillery is missing, the salty character is still there but much more subdued. Quite an impressive nose, but the palate can’t fulfil what was promised. Still, high points all around.

Score: 85

Nose: 22

Taste: 21
Finish: 20 Balance: 22
   < 75: undrinkable, avoid at all costs
75-79: acceptable, give it a try but don't spend to much money on it
80-84: average, enjoyable whiskies mostly easy sippable entry-level single malt 
85-89: above average drams, often well aged expressions, open your wallet
90-94: excellence, sorry kids no x-mas presents this year, daddy needs this bottle
95-99: divinity, call your bank manager for another mortgage on your house