Aroma: This has a distinct medicinal aroma that hits you at first waft. For me, I smelt moments of my childhood, when forced by circumstance I had to wait for my mum to finish her shift as a nurse on a hospital ward – it is distinctly bandage like. Then there is bonfire smoke and even maybe a zesty lime aroma too. All of this is underpinned by a burnt sugar sweetness.
Taste: This is a rich and oily whisky. It feels like a treat for the senses. At first it is syrupy and sweet, like a molten cinder toffee. Again, I was drawn to a Saturday night in my teens, when I worked in a chippy and we deep fried a Crunchie!
The middle is oak smoked bacon, sweet, yet frazzled under a grill, with the elements of carbonisation that occur in this process. It has a salty quality that feels distinctly maritime and sets you in mind of beach time walks in the wind.
Finally, this whisky has a minty finish, that dances across the tongue and spreads to a billowing sweet smoky end.
Appearance: Light but golden.
Real Dram Factor: A friend once told me that if they were enjoying a book, sometimes they would stop before finishing, so that they might continue to feel that feeling of joy for longer. At the time, I laughed, unable to comprehend what they meant. Sadly, with whiskies like this, I now deeply know that pain. This was released in 2018, as part of Diageo’s annual Special Releases. I heard the noise about this whisky and through a friend (who has a talent for finding the unfindable) picked it up. As someone who has mostly been underwhelmed by standard Talisker releases, this whisky absolutely blew me away. For something at cask strength, it is incredibly drinkable and absolutely moreish. With the help a few friends, I drank through the first 75% of this bottle very quickly. Ever since, I have rationed out drams only returning when the situation felt important enough. It will soon be over and I will need to find a replacement, but for now it is one of my favourite whiskies.
You Will Like This If… you like a medicinal, smoky, yet refined whisky.
Price: I paid £70.00, but it is to the auctions and hard to find whisky sites with you if you fancy a bottle of this one – Currently £179.00 on Old and Rare Whisky.co.uk
Source: Bottle purchased from Berry Bros and Rudd.
More Information: Whisky Exchange Blog – https://blog.thewhiskyexchange.com/2018/08/diageo-special-releases-2018-first-look/