I picked up the Talisker 3-pack, which I sampled with some friends last week - for my first "official" review I chose what I thought was the least of the three. Nice colour though - deep coppery amber colour, rather rich looking.
The nose seems to reflect that - peat smoke, briny sea air, crunchy toffee, slight white mushroom with the malt in the background. A little water brings out some dark chocolate notes but softens the brine.
On the palate, it's a little sharp - less smoky than the nose, but the smoke is still there. More toffee, orange zest, but that sharpness up front on the tip of the tongue tends to dominate, though it smooths out with water.
The finish little shorter than what you would expect, but the brine and smoke gently comes through.
Balance seems so-so - the palate and finish don't quite deliver what is promised on the nose. Overall this is least of the three Taliskers in the set, which is not to say it is bad - it is quite good - but it feels like a muted Talisker. I will post my notes on the other two in the set - the 10 Years Old and the 57 Degrees North - over the coming weeks.
One question: what exactly makes this a "Distiller's Edition"? Most if not all of Diageo's Classic Malts range feature a "Distiller's Edition" expression, but is that just marketing, or is it something each Master Distiller genuinely thought was something more individual? I throw the question out to the Connosr universe.