Talisker is a well know whisky due to the availability of the 10 year old across supermarkets in the UK. The 10 year old has a reputation for being a solid peated single malt and fairly consistent overall. I recall it being nicely balanced between sweet, spice and smoke and enjoyed it quite a lot. There have been some murmurings amongst whisky commentators that the quality has dropped somewhat or it not being as good as the Taliskers from the good old days – but then how many times do you hear that about distilleries. The 18 year is the next age statement malt in the range and costs about £80. This also has a very good reputation amongst critics so I was looking forward to trying it.
Whisky: Talisker 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky, 45.8%
Nose: Rich dense earthiness, fish, leather, polish, dried fruit
Taste: Mixed dry fruits, cinnamon spice, dark chocolate, mocha, roasted walnuts, sea salt
Finish: Dark chocolate, pepper spice, earth
Summary: The progression from the 10 year old is shown through the texture of this one. Much more of a rich feel which nicely rounds of the slightly rough edges on the spice in the 10 year old. The peat comes through more in a coastal way and it is subtle which allows the same sort of sweetness and spice found in the 10 to come to the fore. I would pick this ahead of the 10 year old based on the texture and overall complexity of flavours and the balance between them but at the price of £80 (upper end of my budget) I would not say that this is a standout single malt so value for money wise it comes short in comparison to the 10 year old.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskeyexchange.com