On the sea swept island of Skye lies Talisker, James Bond’s go-to distillery (unless you just watched Skyfall and saw 007 frequenting a bottle of Macallan), Talisker has made a name for itself in the whisky world as a peppery, lively little fellow. While mostly categorized in various reviews as a peaty whisky, this non-Islay malt is only 18-22 ppm in terms of phenolic flavors. This level is high for non-Islay but it is not the peat monster you might predict. A causal pour of Talisker 10 during a recent camping trip revealed a very balanced whisky of smoky and sweet flavors. But as we all know, one palate to the next uncovers different impressions.
In fact, Michael Jackson has described Talisker as containing a “lava like pepper” quality to it. Peat tends to show more power when young, which may explain the 10 year old age statement versus the more common 12 year old aging. SWC wasn’t sure what to expect of this dram except a reputation of quality. But always approach a whisky with an open mind no matter what the pedigree. We put this to the test…
SWC Group Review
Nose – Peat and brine up front. Smoky with some seaside air. Hints of fruit and peppery punches. And underlying sugary, malty sweetness adds balance as it opens up. Wonderful balance.
Taste – Tangy, salty. Traces of sweet. Gripping mouth feel. Perilously drinkable.
Finish – Smokey, medium finish. Some thick grain and spice on the way out. Peppery.
Comments – Great balance. Strong flavors but certainly drinkable enough with plenty of character. Peaty, peppery and got our attention.
SWC Rating – 89/100
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