For this entry I’ll be looking at the Isle of Skye’s only (legal) distillery and that is Talisker. Since Talisker is owned by Diageo a good portion of it goes into its Johnny Walker blends but the stuff that doesn’t is bottled as a one of Diageo’s classic malt. The Talisker 10 is the entry level followed by a the Distiller’s Edition that’s finished in a sherry cask, a recently released NAS call Talisker Storm and an 18 year old. The malt used for Talisker is peated to around 20ppm so it does have a decent peat kick to it and as some of you know I’m a fan of the peated stuff. Talisker is also bottled at an above average ABV which is a plus.
Type: Single Malt Region: Island (Skye)
ABV: 45.5% Color: Amber +2 Body: med
Nose: You hear a lot of people talk about a certain pepperiness found in Talisker and I am definitely picking some of that up. Black pepper, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon. There’s also some vegetal notes like celery and cauliflower. Not so much smokey as it is peaty and earthy along with a certain level of brininess. There is a some fruitiness behind all that pepper and peat. Sour apples, oranges and maraschino cherries. Some licorice, mint and touches of black coffee roast to round it all out.
Palate: Surprisingly sweet and fruity arrival. Honey, sweet plantains and cane syrup. Mid palate the smoke and the pepperiness begin to take over and the overall mouthfeel gets quite hot. Some licorice, anise, dark cocoa, and touches of chili powder appear just as it enters the finish.
Finish: Slightly acidic (think orange juice) cigar smoke, dark cocoa, black coffee, fish oil and slightly medicinal. Great finish only wish it lasted longer.
Overall: I have to say for being only 10 years old this is one interesting malt. The inherent spiciness of the malt mixed in with the fact that it is peated to a fairly decent amount makes for a powerhouse whisky. This is good quality stuff they are producing at Skye. It’s youthful so it does have a slight bit of alcohol nip to it but the flavors and aromas are so intense that it all adds to this whisky’s powerful persona. Not overly complex but it doesn’t need to be.
*sidenote: the longer it sits in the glass the smokier it gets both on the nose and on the palate.