“From Diageo’s Special Release 2019 series comes a particularly marvellous 15 year old Talisker! Matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads, it’s got spice, sweetness, smoke and sea breeze running through it – and looks like the coastal notes are reflected on the label (in keeping with the ‘Rare by Nature’ theme of the 2019 Special Releases).
Nose: A seaweed iodine note is the first to spring from the glass – but it’s sunny and inviting, not industrial and heavy. Kelloggs Cornflakes, honey-roasted cashews, tangy cinnamon, warm nutmeg, and caramel notes build on the sense of sunshine, while an undercurrent of peat smoke brings depth. Water rounds it all out a bit and gives more of a velvety impression.
Palate: The rush of sweetness is a real surprise – on the front of the palate there are peach notes, raisin and perhaps red cherry. Then it’s all about that rich spice, along with the peat – a delicious abutment of pepper heat, bright allspice and rolling smoke. With water, it gets even sweeter and a little quieter, but still really tasty and mouth-filling.
Finish: Long and rich, but with a happy lightness, too.”