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Drink Review: Talisker 2003 Distillers Edition

Talisker’s Distillers Edition is finished in amoroso casks, similar in style to sweet oloroso sherry. This 2003 vintage has sweetness and fruitiness backing up the distillery’s maritime character.

Talisker 2003 Distillers Edition Review:

Aroma: Initial impression is both smoke and sweet. The sweetness is almost that of caramel or maple sugar, but not quite. There are also mild citrus, and even vanilla notes in the background.

Nose: Takes some time to fully stir up. Initial impact is maritime (that is, ocean) smell of seaweed and salt. There is a bit of smoke present, but not so much that it obviates the nose from being enjoyable. As the glass warms, the fruitiness increases, with tangerine and peach showing themselves, along with a touch of apple. As time goes on, the vanilla and caramel notes develop.

Taste: Relatively sweet entry. This allows for a full bodied, savory taste of oak and caramel. Smoke, here, is present, but only in that it adds to the overall taste of the whisky. The finish is long and slightly smoky, leaving an interesting combination of salt and smoke.

This is a delicious whisky that comes at a higher price than some, but is worth it. There are distinct caramel and vanilla notes in this particular version, along with a touch of saltiness which makes for an interesting preparation. Sweet, yet salty, this has a great combination of tastes that are quite pleasurable. On the downside, if you are used to the smoke of Laphroaig or Ardbeg, this can seem too mild, despite its sweet flavor.

Talisker Distillers Edition is a whisky that, despite being produced among the islands of Scotland, delivers its peaty punch in more of a maritime fashion than a smooth, smoky taste. Distilled at the Isle of Skye distillery, Talisker is presented dynamically in the form of a rounded, sweet flavor backed with a touch of smoke. Water gives it a pleasant texture, allowing the Scotch to mesh nicely with a variety of different foods. Finishes are saltier than some, but the sweet aftertaste is too hard to pass up.

Talisker has set itself apart by a number of things. Its distillery was one of the first in the Isle of Sky to burn coal for fuel, allowing them to produce a more steady flow of whisky in terms of supply, and consistency of flavor. Being situated to the West rather than the east of Scotland also helps, as the climate there is milder, allowing for the barley used to mature in a unique way that ultimately leads to a different flavor in the Scotch.

Overall, the Distillers Edition is delicious. You can enjoy it over several tastes, or simply in a single sip.

Talisker 2003 Distillers Edition Review:

Aroma: Sweet, but also with some peat in the background. The delightfully fruity smell of apricot and tangerine is balanced by a slightly smokey aroma.

Nose: The salt in the smell is immediately apparent. This is backed up by a nice combination of sweetness (apricot) and smoke. As it becomes more prominent in the nose, it becomes apparent that there is likely a hint of apple as well.

Taste: At first, the smoked flavor is soft, however, as you taste back to back, the flavor builds. It’s soft, but persistent. It mixes quite nicely with the fruity sweetness present.

Finish: The finish is quite pleasant, with a long lasting note of salt on the lips. The peat, in reality, is more of a marine note, and the combination of salt and smokiness is quite pleasurable.

The Talisker Distillers Edition is smoky, with a long lasting finish and a surprising amount of sweetness. The combination of the bold taste is rare, but enjoyable. If you want a whisky that has sweetness that is not overpowering, combined with the taste of the sea during a bonfire on the beach, this is the one. I recommend bringing extra napkins, though.

Written by Mark Adams

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