Talisker‘s 30 year old expression, which first arrived in 2021, is now an annual release. Once again, it’s made from a barely there collection of barrels: 3195 bottles available globally, 561 for the U.S.
Fully matured in ex-bourbon barrels, the whisky will be familiar to the few of you who’ve experienced very old Talisker in the past. Lightly brined and gently smoky on the nose, it shows plenty of notes of mixed fruits (heavy on the apples), then almonds and a slight floral character. Evocative but unsurprising, the palate offers a bit more nuance in the form of sesame oil up top, then a chocolate note building underneath. Well-peated with echoes of salty brine, particularly on the finish, touches of cinnamon waft in and out as the experience concludes.
Plenty of similarity here to my thoughts from 2021, though 2023 seems modestly less complex — but this year Talisker sent out samples with a gorgeous pairing of Belgian caviar from Real Oyster Cult. Brine and brine together? It’s a combination that seems like it can’t miss — and in fact it doesn’t here.