Talisker x Parley Wilder Seas & Old Malt Cask Talisker 11yo cask #19722


Today’s reviews focus on Talisker, a distillery we wish we had more opportunities to explore.

Talisker x Parley Wilder Seas

Region: Highlands

ABV: 48.6%

Price: £74.00

For this limited release, Talisker partnered with ‘Parley for the Seas,’ an organization committed to rewilding ocean forests. The whisky is presented in a bottle made from 100% recycled glass, sourced from biofuel. It was finished in ex-Cognac French oak casks. Approximately 18,000 bottles were released.

Nose

On the nose, this whisky presents aromas of figs, sea spray, grape, mustard, gingerbread, lime, and chimney smoke. When given some air, additional notes of cigar ash, salt water, tobacco, cashew nuts, mangoes, and bonfire smoke emerge. The profile is dry and earthy, accented with a hint of pepper. Young, but not as noticeably so as we were expecting.

Palate

The palate offers crystallized ginger, brown sugar, caramel barley sugars, complemented by sea salt and chewing tobacco. However, a bit too much chili spice dominates, overshadowing the sweet and smoky notes in the medium-length finish. Revisiting the flavors reveals smoky bacon crisps and smoked wood chips, with a slight bitterness from orange peel. The mouthfeel is somewhat thin, and definitely tastes its ABV.

Nose (with water)

With the addition of water, the whisky loses much of its smokiness but retains a slight earthiness. The profile shifts to include more peanut butter, lime, Schloer, beef, and butter. However, it has become tighter, or perhaps it’d be more accurate to say one-dimensional, with the dilution.

Palate (with water)

With dilution, the whisky reveals notes of dirty water, gingerbread, saline solution, and cracked black pepper. The mouthfeel becomes very thin, but the spice is less dominant in the finish. Additional notes of ash and a more pronounced bitterness from grapefruit emerge, complemented by touches of lavender and hibiscus.

Conclusion

On the plus side, this whisky is easy to drink. However, on the downside, it still tastes somewhat young and lacks any truly interesting aromas or flavors that make us want to have more than a dram.

Score: 6/10

Value

You could find a comparable whisky for less money or something more interesting at the same price point.


Old Malt Cask Talisker 11yo cask #19722

Region: Highlands

ABV: 50.0%

Price: £170.00

This bottling was distilled on August 2011 and left to mature in a refill Sherry butt until October 2022, at which point it was bottled at 50%, in a release of 431 bottles.

Nose

Initially, the nose is subdued, but patience rewards us, offering notes of dates, caramel, toffee, and light peat smoke. For us theres a greater cask influence than we anticipated. On revisiting, aromas of banoffee pie, warehouse must, a slight sour note, sea breeze, and some burnt brown sugar become apparent. Nice, but we probably wouldn’t have said this was Talisker.

Palate

The whisky initially presents notes of honey, ash, and cola cubes, with a better mouthfeel than expected, though ideally, it would have been released at cask strength. Moving to the finish flavours of sweet chili, cardamom, and cumin appear, while the honey sweetness also lingers. All fading to some white pepper spice. While it lacks some of the Talisker DNA we were hoping for, it’s a pleasant enough dram.

Nose (with water)

With a few drops of water the dominant notes become caramelized brown sugar, Cadbury milk chocolate, and a hint of ashy peat. Similar to the undiluted nose, there isn’t much that distinctly screams Talisker.

Palate (with water)

Diluted the expected Sherry notes quickly give way to burnt coffee that dominates the finish, accompanied by some residual ash. The profile has become spicier, and the mouthfeel has diminished. On the positive side the finish retains its good length. Similar to today's other review, adding water has rendered it somewhat one-dimensional.

Conclusion

It’s pleasant, and we mean that sincerely. Like the Parley, this whisky is easy to drink. However, unlike the Parley, which felt a bit young and uninteresting, this one possesses enough maturity and intriguing notes that make us want to revisit it.

Score: 7/10

Value

We’ve seen this priced around £140 at some European retailers, and while that still on the pricey side, it feels more justifiable. After all, opportunities to try independent bottlings of Talisker are pretty rare.

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  • 10 - Perfection. One in a million
  • 9 - Outstanding. Exceptional whisky.
  • 8 - Great. Would seek this out.
  • 7 - Good. Quality whisky.
  • 6 - Above average. Happy to have a dram.
  • 5 - Average. Drinkable whisky.
  • 4 - Below average. Passable.
  • 3 - Flawed. Noticeable negatives.
  • 2 - Defective. Significant faults.
  • 1 - Offensive. Pour it out.

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