Special thanks to /u/EMoneySC2 for this sample, he’s seriously one of the coolest guys on the Whisky Network.
To make up to my tongue for the last review, which was a blend that will help my overall score go down, I went searching for some drams. And I picked one that I’d know I’d like, Talisker Distillers Edition 2012. Let’s take a moment to talk about Diageo, without any tongue in cheek humour.
Diageo has one hell of a line-up of Scotches: Talisker, Lagavulin, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Caol Ila, Oban, Knockandhu, etc. I mean, That’s not all of them, but if Whisky had teams, they’d be like the dream team mixed with the US Swimming team and blended into the Canadian women’s hockey team.
So why the hate? Well, I think the main thing is they are a large corporation. And… well, they don’t really take many challenges. One normal, one cask strength, and one Distiller’s Edition. Maybe some somewhat expensive older products that only some of us will ever accidentally try. That’s it. If you’re lucky, the Distiller’s Edition has a new cask finish. Or if you’re Caol Ila you’ll try some new thing, but it’s never really really weird stuff, usually just a repeat from what Ardbeg did.
I don’t know, I don’t exactly hate Diageo, I just… sometimes feel like their offerings aren’t crazy enough. Like, no Cask Strength Port Finishes, I guess. But they’re getting better, I guess, as long as the whisky is popular. Also they colour the shit out of their whisky (this one included).
That brings us to Talisker Distiller’s Edition 2012. I like Talisker. I liked the random Port Finished Talisker. I think I’ve had the 57 North and enjoyed it, however you’ll have to wait for that review. So I should like this. However I’m not a fan of a new whisky every year that could change (maybe). Granted it’s finished in Sherry casks, so I’m a sucker for it.
Let’s see if this is worth the premium.
Price: N/A in Ontario
Colour: Burnt orange
Nose: Smoke, toffee, caramel, raisin, currant, cloves, vanilla, walnuts, The Sea, orange zest
At first this smells a lot like the typical 10 year, however after a few seconds, it changes into a perfect Christmas Pudding. Seriously. I love Christmas Pudding, and wait every year for my mom’s. Hers takes a month to make (it has to set for 1 month). Holy shit this is amazing.
Taste: Tons of caramel, salt, smoke, orange, mint, licorice, cherry, butter
Again, Christmas Pudding, pure and simply. Lots of caramel. Super sweet and wonderful. Simply beautiful to drink. There’s a little bit of mint/licorice in there that doesn’t fit, however I was able to look past that and enjoy salted, smoked caramel mixed with the happy part of Christmas.
Finish: Lots of smoke, cedar, raisins, lime, cumin, cinnamon
And then the end comes, and while simple, it’s smoke, tons of smoke. Swallowing a campfire whole smoke. Hard to tell everything else amount of smoke.
Long finish though, which is nice and relaxing. I had some chocolate chip cookies after finishing the review, and… wow.
Conclusion: So ignoring my thoughts on Diageo’s line-ups, and what I like about Talisker. This, by itself, is a dram to have. It should be on our Next-Level Malts list, only because it’s a sherry finished whisky that isn’t just a sherry bomb. It’s blended very well. I think (not 100% sure) that the original is first matured in ex-Bourbon casks, and that element is present and nicely done.
Worth the premium, even though it isn’t cask strength, it is coloured, and it is chill filtered. And if someone at Diageo ever decides to take away those issues, this could be one of the best whiskies on the market.
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