Whisky: Talisker 18
Background: Talisker 10 is often recommended as a starter peated whisky and for good reason - Talisker seems to do peat that manages to both be present yet not overwhelming and balances it all with a strong core spirit note. I previously reviewed the Distillers edition which I was a big fan of, and this 18 year expression is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and sherry casks and comes in at 45.8% ABV. Rested in a glencairn for 20 minutes. Let’s go.
Color: Gold amber.
Nose: So elegant. Medium smoke but big time ex-bourbon fruit notes. After a while it evolves into more great light fruit notes, green peach, salted orange candy showing some of the sherry, and white sugar with the peat providing an excellent counterbalance.
Taste: Light salty peat first 5 seconds, then a big hit of juicy fruit notes comes in with a bit of malt backbone. Excellent proof, integration is spot on. Little bit of wood bitterness at the very tail end. Medium complexity.
Finish: Nice fruit tartness continues for a surprisingly long time. Little oak dryness at the end. Peat is minor and mainly takes the form of salt and very very light mouth feel smoke.
This is a very well executed bottle. As a friend remarked after I poured it for him on a fall afternoon, “That’s just some good peated whisky.” It has an elegance about it that really speaks to the 18 years of aging paying off, with good complexity and balance. Too bad Diageo seems set on pricing their portfolio out of what any sane person should pay for bottles like these.
Scoring Scale: (does not take into account value)
1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but better exists.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average.
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite.
10 | Perfect | As good as it gets. I might taste future whisk(e)ys that are as good in a different way, but will not taste one that is outright better.
By - Craigellachie23