Talisker 8 Year (2020 Special Release)
Peated Single Malt — Islands, Scotland
Tasted December 28, 2020
It’s 2020. It’s December. Let’s shut this year down with a brand new whiskey (or whisky) every day. It’s my own personal whiskey advent calendar. +7! Dec. 28, 2020 I tried this whisky side by side with my Talisker 10 to compare. Thanks for the sample @PBMichiganWolverine ! This is much lighter in color than the 10yr. Nose is meaty, I’d go with vinegar based barbecue or corned beef. Mildly sour, with vanilla too. The 10year is meatier, but you lose some of the complexity I find here. I prefer this nose. Body is oily and creamy, I get malt chocolate, cream, caramel, peanut butter. The flavors on the body are sweet, desert like, and muted in comparison to the finish. I think the smoked meat exists on the body, but it’s tough to notice compared to its presence on the finish. 10 year isn’t far off here on notes, but far less rich in flavor. That finish punches back intensely with brisket. It sticks around, and I dig it. Slight black pepper here, but the meat is the main star. Finish of the 10-year is nonexistent by comparison. It’s really fascinating to me that with less age and color (ie: effects from exposure to a barrel) you can get more intensity and complexity of flavor. I can tell this whisky is kin to the 10 year, but this one feels substantially more polished. The way they dialed in the body to finish experience is something truly special. I’d really like to know what techniques they use to pull this off, because while I more or less get the artistry behind bourbon making, the artistry behind scotch making is still a bit of a locked box for me. That said, I love this whisky, and I’ll know better in the future than to assume that older means better within a brand. Edit: I just read on PB’s review that this is a rum finish, and everything makes so much more sense now. I mean it. Everything. I think I learned C++ just by reading that. ‘Tis the season. I’m day-to-day on my whiskey selection, so if you’re reading this and there’s something readily available out there you’d like me to enjoy/suffer through this holiday season, leave it in the comments. Merry whiskey to all, and to all a beer flight!