The 2019 Diageo Special Releases rolled around again to much fanfare and fanciness, as it does every year. And as it did, two things caught my attention; the prices had taken another jump upwards and the packaging had taken a turn for the worse.
The 12 peated Cragganmore looked interesting but was £110, the same as this Talisker, which I also liked the look of. What I don’t like is that Talisker 18 I got for £60 a few years ago, the 2014 Lagavulin 12 for £80. So this years special releases can be as amazing as they want, but they’ve left behind the reasonable prices that I am willing to pay for them.
Talisker 15 Special Releases 2019 57.3%
Nose: Robust but closed at first. Sea spray and engine oil, more like a Springbank! Dried orange, old spice box, liquorice, salty dried fish.
Water: Closes up like a clam. Goes quite austere.
Taste: Great arrival, super intense and oily, engines and old trains and cars, guttering fires, diesel fumes, very industrial actually, black pepper (of course). Mouthfeel on this baby is fantastic.
Water: Softer and more fruity but loses the luscious mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium length. Not too powerful but nicely balanced, quite soft black pepper and olive oil.
What I was looking for from the 8yo from 2018. Powerful, visceral and mechanical. If the finish was more powerful we'd be in the high 80's. As it stands, I’d be buying the 18yo over this.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #841
Whisky Network Review #1011
Network Average: 75.2
Best Score: 94
Worst Score: 12
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as the Global Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and I am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and I am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.