Drink Magazine

Talisker 35 Years Review

By Josh Peters @TheWhiskeyJug

Talisker 35 Review

This Talisker 35 Years was part of the 2012 Diageo Special Releases which was the 16th time Talisker had been included in the yearly DSR program. It originally retailed for about $700, though now you’re lucky to find it for under $1,200. Distilled in 1977 this 35-years-old is among the oldest, if not the oldest, bottling from Talisker.

In Diageo’s Words: Talisker 35 Years

“Older versions of single malt from this distillery on the isle of Skye have featured before in the programme, but never one of this age. Despite the age, it still has a high strength of 54.6% ABV and has been matured in a combination of re-fill ex-bourbon American oak and ex-sherry European oak casks. There are just 3,090 bottles which will retail for £525 each.”

It’s great they tell us it’s matured in both ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks, but how was it matured? Were the ex-Bourbon & ex-Sherry cask independently aged and mixed before bottling? Were they matured in one and finished in the other? So many questions, but at least I can answer how it smells and tastes in the Talisker 35 Years review below!

Talisker 35 Years Info

Region: Islands, Scotland

Distiller: Talisker
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Age: 35 Years
ABV: 54.6%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

Talisker 35 Years Review

EYE
Toffee

NOSE
It’s a heavy warm aroma of peat, caramel, char, malt, honey, citrus, cocoa, spice and a bit of dried apricot.

PALATE
Bold roll out of peat, butterscotch, char, honey, citrus peels, ash, cocoa spice and a bit of saline.

FINISH
Long fade of peat, sweet malt, iodine and fruit.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, round body and a soft – nearly oily – feel.

OVERALL
Talisker 35 Years is a crisp, sweet and Smoky dram with a lot to explore across the senses – it’s lovely stuff. Water opens up the aroma a bit and lets more of the crisp fruity nature come out to play. On the palate, water brings out a heavier smoke and a toffee-like sweetness to go with the crisp fruit.

After three and a half decades in oak I was expecting theTalisker 35 Years to be more muddled than it is. I was also expecting the smoke to be far lighter. I’m pleasantly surprised by its crisp, almost austere nature of this whisky. Great stuff.

SCORE: 90-92/100 (A-, consumed at a tasting)

Thanks Alex G for the tasting

Talisker 35 Label

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