Talisker 8 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Scotch Whisky Review #352: Talisker 8 Year Diageo 2021 Special Release

Distillery: Talisker.

Region: Island.

Age: 8 Year.

ABV: 59.7%. Cask Strength.

Cask Type: Heavily peated refill casks.

Cost: Sample courtesy of /u/I_SAID_NO_GOLDFISH.

Color: 0.1, White Wine.

This is the 17th installment of this years’ Christmas Countdown. You can see the 2020 edition here and 2019 edition here.


Nose: Tons and tons and tons of malt barley. If you’ve ever been a malt distillery, you might remember the all compassing smell of malt barley that is everywhere. This, to me, smelled exactly like that. There’s a touch of smoke that comes through in the back that reminds you this is peated, but it is very malt forward and deliciously so.

Palate: Lemon hard candies are the main note here along with a lovely salty sea air note. It is quite strong so some water is needed. After adding a little bit, those same notes of lemon hard candies and salty sea air come through just as strong as they did before. The combination of the two almost makes me think of a lemon flavored salt water taffy as well, though without the waxiness that can come from a taffy. A new note of barbecue comes in though to bring a lovely meaty element to it. It tastes like an assortment of barbecued meats and adds an awesome savory element to this.

Finish: Quite long. It’s a continuation of the palate. Lemon hard candy, smoke, and tons of barbecued meats.


Conclusion: Sweet, salty, savory, smoky. What more could you want? This Talisker special release has it all. The nose carries an intoxicating truckload of malt barley notes. The palate and finish have a really tasty combination of fruity hard candies, sea salt, and some barbecued meats. I had panned the 2020 Diageo Special Release of Talisker because it was missing so much of what makes Talisker, Talisker to me as well as the cask influence not really shining in. Here, whatever they did worked and worked really well. The distillery character is very much intact while the smokier notes from the heavily peated casks and the spirit itself shine through in delicious fashion. Well done and I’ll definitely be looking for a bottle for myself.

Final Score: 84.


Scotch Whisky Review #353, Island Review #53, Whisky Network Review #502


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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