Monday 17 October 2016

Talisker Vertical: Storm, 10, 18, 30

Hello internet people,

Today we've got some Taliskers to score in a nice vertical. It's a Taliscore! Let's start with the youngest and work our way up. 
(Photos are all of the 30 because I don't have any other Talisker atm)

Talisker Storm 45.8%
Colour: Diageo GoldTM (E150a)
Body: Full
Nose: Light fruit esters- Pear drops, green apple, lemon citrus and earthy smoke. Artificial toffee and vanilla.
Water: More smoke and earth, ash and embers.
Taste: Sharp arrival, lots of sour lemon and green apple, young peat smoke, quite earthy with sea salt and black pepper developing (A little harsh).
Water: Less sharp, more fruity and creamy with a little banana but the developing spice is a bit harsher.
Finish: Medium length. A earthy hit then pepper and salt.
Quite young, you can really tell. I'd much rather have the 10yo any day of any week. Speaking of...

Talisker 10 45.8%
Colour: Diageo GoldTM (E150a)
Body: Full
Nose: Woody, quite oily, restrained peat smoke, spice, fruit- artificial lemon, melon, raisin (A little Sherry), vanilla, pine resin, brine, sea spray, seaweed.
Water: Spiced rum soaked dried fruit, fruit cake, raisin, shortbread, cola bottles, chocolate powder, some nut. Tonnes of artificial toffee after a bit.
Taste: Oily texture, fruity- Great oily lemon note, vanilla, building spice- Ginger, nutmeg and black pepper with wisps of smoke, sea salt, seaweed. Lovely balance.
Water: Some chocolate and nut, much more Sherry and raisin.
Finish: Medium/long length. Sea spray leads to the classic cracked black pepper kick. With water you get some chocolate.

The mouthfeel and balance really make this. My first ever bottle of peated whisky. This is my second bottle and I'd buy a third (A big deal for me). In my opinion this is the best of any of Diageo's many entry level whiskies (not that I've tried them all).
(Not the last time I'll say this but) In my experience batches vary. In any whisky. Batches of this have reached 76/77 and some have been under 70.

Onwards and upwards:

Talisker 18 45.8%
Colour: Diageo GoldTM (E150a)
Body: Full
Nose: A lot sweeter than the 10yo with a lot less smoke. Lots of big aromatic complex spice- Ginger, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, some curry powder, chilli and (of course) black pepper. A thick toffee syrupy sweetness, a lot of fruit underneath- Red apple. French mustard, ginger biscuit, ginger ale, wisps of wood smoke and bonfire, cigar smoke, pipe tobacco. Sea salt, driftwood, oaky citrus note, vanilla oil, maybe some wood polish.
Water: More spicy smokiness initially, then more creamy sweet fruit- Green apple, fig and lime, pickled lime, liquorice too and briny coastal notes- Some sea spray and brine, sea air maybe?, mineral- Sea sprayed rock. Also a candied sweetness- Turkish delight and candy canes. After 15mins- More fleshy fruit- Orange, maybe grapefruit, dark chocolate, aromatic wood. Peat making a quiet re-emergence- Perfumed smoke, wood fire on a beach, scorched oak.
Taste: Oily mouthfeel. Peaty white pepper, then recedes with vanilla creaminess, mouth watering toffee and comes back very slowly with gradually building complex spice- Coriander, lots of ginger, white pepper, cinnamon and spicy crushed chilli towards the finish. Coastal smoke seamlessly intermingled with the spice- Sea spray and peat smoke, wood fire, cigar smoke. Complex wood engagement with some leather and coffee.
Water: More creamy with less spice. Oily liquorice, more vanilla, some honey, toffee, wonderful sooty lemon building and building with the spice, some orange, building leathery smoke and spice.
Finish: Long length. Complex mixed (Black, white and green) pepper with intense oak.
In a word: Aromatic. A great whisky, improving on the greatness of the 10yo. For £65 on Amazon this was a great buy.

Side note: The DE is a great whisky too, but I finished my bottle a while ago because it was so delicious.

Jumping up to the 30yo now because I don't have the 25yo.

Talisker 30 year old 2011 45.8%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Wow, a very different Talisker. Big beautiful old oak. Quite maritime with lots of brine, sea air, brine soaked rope and sail, tonnes of driftwood and old wet oak. I love the subtle wisps of wood smoke infused with citrusy lemon! In the background there's still some fruit with apple, lemon and lime- It's a little oaky but nice. Orange peel too. Spices coming through now- Fresh ginger and some white pepper.
Water: More aromatic, full and fruity (A bit more life to it). All the notes above but bigger, bolder and (Somehow) better. The smoke is making more of an appearance too.
Taste: Wow! Oh God, it's beautiful. Creamy arrival, very oily mouthfeel. Rich, exotic spices build- Saffron, ginger and white and black pepper. Fruity and becoming fruitier- Dusty oak but red apple, quite fresh orange. Maritime with sea air and salty brine crust. More spices build with old driftwood oak and salty smoke coming through and infusing into everything else.
Water: More fruity with more wood smoke in the development then spicy oak citrus. Complex smoke and salty oak.
Finish: Very long/Long length. Quite fruity actually with red apple, sea salt and a hint of wood smoke and old driftwood.
Something you could nose for hours. Recognisably Talisker, but missing a little something. Maybe would've been better at CS. Who knows. 

I would love to taste some epic Sherry single cask Talisker. Some of the old bottlings are legendary. 

Reviews #42-#45
Whisky Score Average: 79
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Exquisite

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