Review No.220. Talisker 18 Year Old

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

Score: 3.5

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


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