Talisker 10 Year Old Isle of Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Another that should need no introduction. The thing to look for in Talisker, as with all smoky whiskies, is sweetness that gives the requisite balance to the drying effect of smoke. Underneath Talisker’s smoke, which ain't as all-pervading as Lagavulin, is a sweet pear-like quality. When young there are notes of the land: heather, moor, sweet seaweed, and a finish that has a distinctive cracked black pepper hit. (DB, Summer 2012)
*Best Buy* The piquant nose offers immediate and stunning notes of sea salt, peat reek and black pepper; aeration time encourages deeper aromas including malt and almond. Palate entry is malty sweet and nicely peppery, then at midpalate the peaty iodine character kicks in. Finishes well as it gives off fiery, peaty/tobacco-like flavors.
Shows how comforting peaty can be. The smoke and iodine nose comes off toasty, showing a flirtation with fruit, while the palate is like a piece of toast slightly coated with fruit, spice and rich honey. The toast progresses to more smoke on the finish.
A wonderful award-winning Island malt bottled at above-average strength with a comforting, smooth afterglow. If you're new to Talisker don't pass up the Talisker 10--it's an enjoyable point of reference, a benchmark single malt that's also unmistakably one of a kind, with a warm nose, a surprisingly thick, oily mouthfeel, and ashy peat that doesn't really kick in until the finish. Distiller's notes: "A rich dried-fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke and strong barley-malt flavours, warming and intense. At the back of the mouth is an explosion of pepper. Finish: Huge, long, peppery finish with an appetising sweetness." Serge Valentine says, "Colour: gold. Nose: it seems that Talisker 10 gets smokier and smokier, drier and drier and ashier and ashier. We won't complain. So little fruits here, at least at first sniffs, rather a feeling of barbecue on the beach (next to a seaweed bonfire), with then some rather unusual herbs, between sage and thyme or maybe even ramsons. Then the usual sootiness and more seaweed and brine. Check! Mouth: lovely, absolutely lovely although a notch simpler now. More fruits (oranges, lemons) and maybe a little less pepper than before, but both the expected smokiness and saltiness have materialized on our palate. Salted grapefruits and seafood. Check. Finish: not extremely long, as often with Talisker in my experience, but clean, perfectly salty, lemony and smoky. Check. Comments: check. Beats anything in this price range."