Scotch Whisky Review #418: Talisker Distillery Handfill 9 Year Rejuvenated Wine Cask
Age: 9 Year. Bottled on August 26th, 2022.
ABV: 59.8%. Cask Strength.
Cask Type: Rejuvenated Wine Cask.
Batch Number: 2022/001.
Color: 1.4, Tawny.
Nose: The red wine cask makes its presence known instantly, you get a nice big hit of red wine instantly. Following behind it are notes of something remind me of barbecue sauce (a sweet and tangy one) as well as some cherry pie filling. It does dry out the nose a tad.
Palate: It’s a lot lighter than I had expected. The red wine makes itself known again quickly here. The cherry pie from the nose also makes a comeback, this time joined by a Worcestershire sauce. With some water, you get a lot of fruitier notes. Specifically, you get red grapes, cranberries, and cherry. With lots of air time (like over an hour), more and more meaty notes start to creep in with a grilled steak and its juices coming through to join the fruits.
Finish: Incredibly long and very meaty. It’s a combination of smoked meats and fish, I picked out notes that reminded me of smoked salmon along with similar to a smoked whitefish dip one of the local steakhouses does. A hit of tobacco comes through every now and again. With water, the meatier notes do give way a bit to fruitier ones, very similar to what you find on the palate. The smoked salmon note does stick around and seems to have picked up a bit of a honey glaze in the process.
Conclusion: Talisker was the last distillery we stopped at last month as the wife and I drove our way through Scotland. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to visit given that they’d been under renovation all summer, though it seems we got there just a week after they opened and it was well worth the detour off of our planned route up the A87 to the Trotternish peninsula. This youthful Talisker in red wine casks is unlike any Talisker I’ve had before. The maritime notes you expect from them aren’t presented in the way you’d expect, with more smoked fish notes than actual sea breeze. Savory notes dominate the finish in a way you might expect from one of the heavily peated producers. It reminded me a ton of an Arran Heavily Peated picked by the folks at Royal Mile Whisky, though with a stronger emphasis on the smoked fish notes. Very tasty, though I wish it would have a little more punching power on the palate, and one I fully expect will get tastier the further I get down the bottle given how it reacted to being out in a glass for so long.
Final Score: 85.
Note: I’ve made some changes to the scoring legend, the descriptions have been updated slightly to match my actual scoring a little better.
Scotch Whisky Review #418, Island Review #68, Whisky Network Review #572
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky and I will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection if feasible.
- 85-89: Very good to amazing, almost the complete product and I’m likely wanting a bottle or two.
- 80-84: Quite good, pleasant overall though there is usually a few things that could be improved still.
- 75-79: Good, enjoyable to drink but ultimately flawed.
- 70-74: Alright, solid and 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.