Talisker 08-year-old

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
Diageo Special Releases 2020
Stated Age
08 years old
Caribbean Rum Cask Finish
57.9 % Vol.
700 ml 750 ml
Added on
30 May 2020 5:35 pm by Erik Elixir
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredCask Strength

Average value

€ 100.64

62 × in wishlist

373 × member ratings

1267 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Talisker 08-year-old

59 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.62 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    [September, 2020] It seems to be increasingly a nightmare to get hands on some of the bottles of Diageo's special releases from year to year, not to mention the ridiculous price increases (look at the price of last year's 12-years old Lagavulin compared to this year's). Finally I managed to get a bottle each of the somewhat affordable releases (and no, I will not buy the completely overpriced Mortlach or Dalwhinnie because I doubt they are worth the heavy bucks requested)...

    ...and this underaged Talisker offered at the price of a 20+years old is not worth of its bucks either! Good old Serge scored this dram astonishing 90 points (like the first 8-years old Talisker special release) but my olfactory cells and taste buds are too dull to get all these interesting details he mentions in his tasting note, most probably. To me this is not more than an average underaged dram with a very immature nose, a better but still simplistic taste and a good mouthfeel. And neither Serge nor I were able to detect any rum aromas in this dram - so if you like fresh and simple youngsters which are mainly driven by barley-mashy-peaty flavours this might be your dram (but you can buy other malts with such profiles much, much cheaper).

    By the way, several days later I had another dram after a fine Ardmore and the new 16-years old Laphroaig and to be honest: This Talisker really turned me down in this setting so I did not empty the dram and flushed it down the sink, not joking. So I advise to not have this one after excellent other whiskies unless you are pretty sure you like it...
    • Nose
      83 83
      The colour is light at pale straw and the nose offers a very immature profile which smells rather like a barely 3-years old spirit than a single malt whisky, really. For a new make it would be not bad but I expect more even from a just 8-years old single malt, not to name Talisker. The rum aromas are very shy and hard to catch - I just get the usual bready-mashy aromas of very young spirits with some peaty and wooden impressions. To be sure I compare this to a cask sample of an one-year old Lagg-spirit that I own and bingo - the profiles are very close. Most probably one need to own a super-nose (like Serge) to get more out of this but sorry folks, I just own ordinary olfactory cells and these testify a very simple and immature smell. Where is the rum, Diageo?
    • Taste
      86 86
      The taste is much better with more and stronger peaty flavours and some maritime impressions but still it tastes somewhat immature with the barley mash in the driver's seat. Again, I hardly detect any rum in this mix and I cannot comprehend ten out of the eleven ingredients Serge describes. I know my taste buds are average only compared to that of master blenders or "professional" tasting note writers (so take their statement with a grain of salt) but they state boldy: To us this is not more than an average underaged dram without neither flaws nor highlights. Water turns the nose more punchy without adding new aromas while the taste flattens and the finish gets a bitter wooden note. More water flattens both nose and taste and robs this dram of its young (assertive) assets so it turns into an unimpressive underaged whisky. I like the neat dram best.
    • Finish
      85 85
      The initial mouthfeel is hot (due to the high abv) with a nice coating effect and no distracting moments. The finish is long without new impressions and certainly it does not remind me of Brora, not in a single whiff - sorry Serge. No flaw here either but still I found no trace of rum, Diageo! But even the taste buds of Serge did not manage to detect the rum influence in this dram so the rum story is a nice marketing gag but not more (of course did Diageo finish this release in rum casks - but without any tracable effect, so either the casks were completely leached or the finish was way too short).

  2. nhuber scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    not sure why people are disappointed, wilder than the 10 year old, but also in a nice way as it has more oomph, nice sweetness and more smoke, ok, not a bargain at 90€ but the taste itself is very good... anything below 87/88 probably takes the price into account, which distorts the whole base... my view.

  3. Totoro scored this whisky 78 points Connoisseur

    What a letdown. This is one of these cases where 2 cl is more than enough and I'll be happily giving away the remainder of my 5 cl sample.
    • Nose
      76 76
      Young & yeasty, with a farmy note, plenty of banana, brown sugar, and sweet vanillin: I'd say the rum casks are actually pretty noticeable.
      I'd have expected more smoke at this age, too. In direct comparison, even the regular OB "Port Ruighe" strikes me as peatier, and that at 45.8%.
      I don't have a problem with young (or NAS) Taliskers - I quite liked the 57° North, for instance - but this is really disappointing.
    • Taste
      80 80
      No burn despite the high ABV, kudos. Other than that, it's merely super sweet, estery, moderately peppery, and softly smoky. You can get a similar experience with some young blended Islay malts for about a third of the price.
    • Finish
      79 79
      Banana puree, a boozy, sugary note, and earthy-peppery Talisker smoke.

  4. markjedi1 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    This is probably the bottling that most have been looking forward to. It is the first Talisker to be finished on Caribbean rum barrels.

    I confess... That's a strange but intriguing nose. Talisker's DNA is present, don't get me wrong, but is largely 'wrapped' by sweet notes from the rum barrels. Almost as if Talisker's seawater was replaced by sugar water. There's something savoury about it, like meat on the barbecue. But it's okay.

    Immediately honeysweet and spicy on the palate. Vanilla, rum and citrus fruit with a few drops of soy sauce, a lot of pepper and a nice smokiness.

    Something of camphor and chillies in the (rather short) aftertaste.

    Yes, this one is going to sell like sweet cupcakes, no doubt about it. But... I thought the 8-year-old of 2018 was a lot better.

  5. dRambo scored this whisky 83 points Connoisseur

    young and primitive - unacceptable for the price
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      82 82

  6. LeChiffre scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    After the first reviews, I initially lowered my expectations. After tasting the sample, I like it better than expected. A strong Talisker, but in the end you can feel the youth especially in the mouth - and I can't really see any rum barrel influence here. With a view to the price and in comparison to the Talisker 15J SR 2019, as a Talisker fan I have to say that the PLV does not fit here (even if it is quite tasty regardless of the PLV) and a purchase with a view to the ones still available Talisker 15J SR 2019 not worth it. The mentioned Talisker from SR 2019 is in my opinion the much better choice despite the slight surcharge.
    • Nose
      86 86
      distinct sweetness; malty; maritime notes; Citrus; Oak seasoning; Smoke (campfire); I can't really see a rum barrel influence - but definitely a tasty nose
    • Taste
      85 85
      vigorous; sweet and spicy; Smoke and a maritime character are present in the mouth; Citrus notes; salty; maybe a touch of tar; you can tell that he is young
    • Finish
      84 84
      long and warm; Chili; Pepper; sweet smoke; delicate tart oak aromas

  7. thijs100 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Rum there ain't much of, so it doesn't live up to expectations. That said, this is a good Talisker regardless.
    • Nose
      A whiff of pineapple goes hand in hand with wet pebbles, seaweed and and soft, earthy peat. Touches of brine, sandalwood and melted butter also. Finally some sweet cotton candy, gooseberry and even a hint of burlap. There's quite a bit going on here.
    • Taste
      A fair amount of pepper, soft smoke and earthy peat. Darker than the nose suggests. Some olive brine, cloves and a big pinch of salt. Finally some charred lemons. Water bring out a more medicinal side.
    • Finish
      Quite peppery on the finish with some lingering smoke. Long.

  8. SmokeyRuhr scored this whisky 85 points Member Senior

    Overall, a decent whisky in the 40 euro price range, or because of the high alcohol content also 50 euro price range. But for what is called for, about 100 euros, a cheek.
    If the price would influence my point allocation, I would have to subtract 2 points. And actually 2 more, because the expected finish is not really noticeable.
    But the review is written as if I didn't know any of this.
    • Nose
      84 84
      Before the first sip, I only smelled slightly sweet and strongly sour. Kind of uncomfortable. Fortunately, I didn't feel the high alcohol content in my nose, but unfortunately neither the typical Talisker attributes nor exotic fruits that I had expected from the finish.
      After the first sip, however, I still noticed grain notes and Talisker attributes. The aroma was better then. But there was no sign of the finish.
    • Taste
      86 86
      It started bitterly on the tongue, but it developed quite well and becomes sweeter and also a little oily and very pleasant, plus the sweetness (but no citrus fruits or something) and then the power. You'd almost think it's the famous chilli catch, but I think it's just the alcohol. And so I don't even try water before it loses the effect and then becomes flat and boring.
    • Finish
      84 84
      Pleasantly bitter like coffee with milk without sugar and also quite long - unfortunately not more, but at least.

  9. MrDvorak scored this whisky 84 points Expert Senior

    RATING: 84pts – |83 – 86 (B) → Good| — Not a “must”, but a nice-to-have.
    • Nose
      84 84
      The nose is simple but neat with nice rum finish influence and has notes of vanilla, pineapple, sea salt and gentle smoke.
    • Taste
      85 85
      The taset is peppery and smoky with notes of seasalt, vanilla, olive oil, charred lemon peel and some tropical fruits.
    • Finish
      84 84
      The finish is quite long and peppery with hints of gentle smokiness followed by vanilla and lemons.

  10. Brunobaer1887 scored this whisky 81 points Expert Senior

    Jura, thank you Diageo for another monument of the well-marketed, not even average drops. Sharp, one-dimensional and far too young. Thanks for far too little at this price
    • Nose
      81 81
    • Taste
      82 82
    • Finish
      80 80


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