Early last month, my old mate and whisky buddy Yan came to visit. He's the one that led me astray by dragging me to the Newcastle Whisky Festival back in March and made me drink a ridiculous amount of single malts. When I think back to the train journey home the next day, I still feel ill.
However, being a generous sort of chap, he dropped off a few samples from his collection while he was here. I'm only now getting round to sampling them, so on with the show.
I like Talisker's standard 10-year-old offering but it's the only expression I've tried from the Skye distillery. So I was looking forward to trying this travel retail exclusive. And while I think it would make for an easy going session dram and also appeal to those who don't like their peat too overpowering, I couldn't really find any Talisker characteristics in the glass.
When I first poured a dram, I could have sworn it was a Bowmore 12. It seems to share that flat Irn-Bru smell which seems to infiltrate most Bowmores I've tried in the past.
Along with that soft-drink note, there's also Terry's Chocolate Orange on the nose, along with raisins, golden sultanas, undiluted Ribena, pine, salted cashews, creamy vanilla and a Starbucks caramel macchiato. There's also a smokiness present - not billowing peat, but more of a campfire note. I would say like a burning campfire in a pine forest, but that would be a wee bit too much, eh?
A drop of water increased the sweetness and brought in candied peel, baked apples, sweet mint and chilli and lime chocolate - one of my favourites.
On the palate, there's quite a lot of salted caramel, red chilli flakes, black coffee, dark chocolate and a dab of orange marmalade. The smoky character seems to round off the edges of this non-age statement dram and gives it a bit of depth.
The finish is spicy, with black peppercorns, orange rind, more coffee and chocolate, while that mellow smoke round things off.
I really quite enjoyed this one and like I said, it would make for a decent wee session dram with friends on a windy autumn night. I think it retails for around 48 notes, but add in the cost of a flight, and it will set you back quite a bit more.