Found a heel of this Talisker sitting around, and thought we could do a side-by-side with the standard 10 Year Old. This 15 Year Old was part of the Diageo Special Releases in 2019. It is fully matured in freshly charred American oak hogsheads.
For a Talisker, quite peaty on the nose, with lemon drops, freshly ground black pepper, chili, burnt almond and some wood smoke. Musty. Slightly vegetal, like a container of arugula that just went off. Faint hint of cinnamon. A little smokier with water, but it really doesn't need it. Elegant and complex with those classic Talisker notes.
On the palate are more lemon drops (and some pith just behind), with even more black pepper and toasted almond with a background of peat. Oily mouthfeel. The high ABV is not immediately apparent. Dark chocolate. Water amps up all the flavours, making it even oilier.
The finish is long and mouthwatering, with orange pith and cloves. Not as "dirty" as a lot of Taliskers I've had; this one has a certain elegance while still retaining those complex, classic notes. Compared to the 10? Yes, the 10 is dirtier on every level - which is surprising since the 15 has the higher ABV. In any case, still remains one of my absolute favourite distilleries.