Talisker is a favorite. It’s one of the first bottles of single malt I ever purchased. And if it appears in the drink menu of a fine restaurant, I feel, albeit fleetingly, that all is right in the world. Accordingly, the idea of a Distiller’s Edition holds out tremendous promise. As I hold the glass up to a lamp, the rich color deepens the promise into a solemn oath. But to my shock, the nose is stunningly unfresh, a popcorny plastic atmosphere of CO2 and spoiled milk; it is if a bell jar has been placed over a dead mole …[/removes Malt Impostor glasses…] Ahem, the nose is as expected: Taliskeriffic. Sweat-drenched hobo clothes drying on a diesel fuel-fired engine as the train rattles through a rust belt blightscape. Salted caramels and popcorn softened in Armagnac. In the mouth it’s like I’m sucking on arrowroot; my spittle makes a slightly bitter roux—no, it’s a strange batter for tiny pulque biscuits! They cook in seconds on the side of the diesel engine; crispy, brown, oily, wonderful. I scrape the biscuit drops into my hand and breathe in dreams I cannot understand. In one of them, I’m gargling with Lectric Shave because my wife moved the Listerine. (Whoa! I find myself thinking. She’s my ex-wife now–what the hell is she doing messing with my toiletries?!? Then I realize it’s just a dream.) In another, I’ve got a mouse-eye view of a farm table made from really old floor planks hardened by years of contra dancing. That’s right, there’s less polish and roundness than in other Distiller’s Editions I’ve tried, but you cannot suppress the Taliskertastic character of this dram.
The Talisker Distiller’s Edition TD-S: 5HT is Judge William–As the moralist in Either/Or, Judge William sets out to show the inevitable failure of the aesthete, A’s, rotation method for maximizing pleasure and novelty. (What’s that, Stephen? You wanted me to pick the more well-known Johannes Climacus, or the amusing Hilarious Bookbinder, or the obscure Inter et Inter? I’m telling you, the Talisker D.E. is A.)