...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...
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?
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.
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).