Talisker Maritime Edition 27 Year Diageo 2013 Special Release (1985

Scotch Whisky Review #397: Talisker Maritime Edition 27 Year Diageo 2013 Special Release (1985)

Distillery: Talisker.

Region: Island.

Age: 27 Year. Distilled in 1985 and bottled in 2013.

ABV: 56.1% Cask Strength.

Cask Type: Refill American Oak Bourbon Casks.

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/_asipper.

Color: 1.1, Burnished.

Nose: The nose starts with a sweet and gentle smoke, it almost just wafts in. The maritime notes follow straight afterwards with a lovely sea air note and something that reminds me a lot of bonito flakes. It’s smoky, salty, and a tad fishy. Following the bonito comes fruit in the form of peaches and nectarine along with some fruit syrup. Earthier notes come in last, though I couldn’t quite place them.

Palate: Even at full strength, the flavors do take a moment to really kick in. The sweet and gentle smoke from the nose is what starts us off here. That turns earthy and ashy as it sits on your tongue. With a few drops of water, the smoke turns back towards more of that sweet and gentle version. Peach syrup along with assorted other stone fruits, nectarines and the like, and some fresh apples come thing through quite nicely. There is a touch of ash in the back along with a touch of spice.

Finish: Medium in length. There’s a touch of the stone fruits again followed by a nice earthiness. Cigar smoke and a touch of ginger wrap things up.

Conclusion: I’ve not had a lot of older Talisker, a 30 year old from the 2010 Diageo special release collection being the standout of what I have had, so I wasn’t sure what I should expect as far as how Talisker’s younger flavor profile would translate. Given that this is called the “Maritime Edition”, however, I had really hoped to get smacked in the face a bit with maritime notes. The nose delivers on that for sure with a fantastic note of bonito flakes (dried, smoked skipjack tuna grated into flakes). The palate doesn’t bring those flavors but it does bring an addictive combination of sweet smoke and stone/orchard fruits. You get a hit of the smoke and then some of the juicy fruit right afterwards and the combination of the two just makes me want more and more. When it feels like it might be getting too sweet, a bit of earthiness comes in to balance things out. Overall, this is quite a fantastic whisky and one I’m very glad to have had.

Final Score: 91.

Scotch Whisky Review #397, Island Review #65, Whisky Network Review #551

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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