Monday, December 28, 2015

Talisker Distillers Edition: 2003 - 2014

Talisker is, for the moment, one of the best whisky values around. Seriously, how many other distilleries produce a 25-year-old expression that can be purchased for around $200 US? (134 British Pounds) Their 18-year-old expression is top-notch and can be had for under $100 US.

Recently, I picked up a bottle of The Distillers Edition, distilled in 2003 and bottled in 2014. This whisky immediately earned a place on my top shelf. This is a beautiful dram, having all the usual Talisker characteristics with the addition of some subtle fruit and chocolate notes from having been aged in Amoroso Sherry casks. Another double-matured special edition in the Diageo portfolio is Lagavulin's Distillers Edition, also reworked with the addition of sherry-cask influence. That whisky enjoys a solid reputation as well. Not every peated-whisky distiller has been successful in tweaking its flavor profile by using sherry casks in their special editions, but both Talisker and Lagavulin have done bang-up jobs and are worthy of much praise, not only for the drinking pleasure they have given us in their sherry-cask limited editions, but for their craftsmanship in doing so; too many whiskies with excellent basic flavor profiles get ruined by cask domination.

At around $65 US, Talisker's 2014 Distillers Edition is not only one of the best distiller bottlings I've ever purchased, but it is the best bang-for-the-buck whisky I've ever picked up.


  1. Agreed! The Talisker DEs are my favorite of the Diageo distillers editions. I'm not usually a fan of finished whiskies but this one always works. In fact it's the only Talisker that hasn't seemed to have lost its quality over the past decade.

    I wish we in the US could get their older products for those prices. The 25yo averages $550 in the US, though can be found for $350 on the East Coast. And if one can find the 18 for less than $160 (on the West Coast) it's rare. I guess I probably should have bought bottles when I was in Japan!

    1. I had no idea the price discrepancy between the US and Japan was that much for Scotch whisky.

      As a huge fan of Talisker, I'm somewhat happy that it isn't as popular as the likes of Ardbeg, Springbank, Balvenie, etc... it keeps the prices down to earth and makes for a great investment opportunity as more and more people are starting to talk about how much Talisker has improved in recent years.