Talisker 18-year-old Isle of Skye Single Malt Whisky 750ml (Elsewhere $150)
First sniffings boast big-hearted aromas of maple sugar and caramel; further aeration stimulates marine notes of seaweed and light brine, but deeper notes of chili pepper, black pepper, honey and vanilla top off the experience. Palate entry is honeyed and full; at midpalate the taste profile inches its way towards the smoke-tobacco-ash-tar side of the flavor scale, but is sweet. Concludes moderately oily and lightly salty.
A sophisticated and refined Talisker, if thatís not an oxymoron. But this is certainly true when compared to the 10 year old. This 18 year old is deeper too, with less of the fishnets, more of oak boat docks. Less lemongrass, more fruit gum drops. Thereís still that knock-out punch on the finish. Thereís a fine line between polishing the rough edges of a beautifully powerful whisky and ripping its heart and soul out with a knife by dumbing it down. This whisky has not crossed that line. A fabulous whisky! (Vol. 14, #3)
Limited to quantity on hand. This lovely 18 year old is always out of stock, so strike when the iron is hot! Strength: 45.8% ABV Appearance: Amber. Nose: Rich and fruity -- Victoria plums, greengages, perhaps dried orange peel -- with some butterscotch or rum toffee and a thread of smoke behind. The smoke soon advances into the foreground and the toffee note is joined by a light mintiness. With water maritime characteristics emerge -- dry boat varnish, edible seaweed. Still sweet; now with notes of iodine and the smokiness of an un-struck match. Body: Full. Pleasant, smooth. Palate: Sweet in front, then more assertive, with a whiff of smoke. The development is towards smoke, coal-tar and toffee. Finish: Medium length. Talisker's characteristic chili "catch" in the finish is subtly present in the smoky aftertaste.