Talisker, the Islay’s stranded cousin who shares lots of similar characteristics than his relatives. Crying from the Isle of Skye they have had their handful of modern day products as well – smoky killers like Dark Storm for example. Many of those variants have been without any age statement.
So when I was dancing on the baltic waves (Silja Line) there was something in the whisky shelf that needed some careful thinking. Had I been more aware (and access to the internet) I would have not thought so long. But the end result counts: Talisker 18 – with reasonable price – ended on my trolley. It is good to visit those ships now and then – too bad it is a long way from Finland’s backwoods to get onto open sea. Or perhaps it is a good thing..
Talisker 18 a good product, with a bold age statement. Solid Talisker, nothing fancy. 45.8%. This dram has won prices and memorized moments.
The nose expresses like Islay drams: peat, fruits, smoke and pepper. Wood and salt. It tells it is Talisker alright, hinting a fun night with stories and laughter. If you could give quality a scent this would be a strong candidate.
The palate starts carefully, adds smoke and ash then then finishes with a explosion of wood, salt, pepper, peat and gentle fruits. Strong spices are present, making this a definite drink of stormy islands with high and aggressive waves bashing into it’s solid ageless rock shores. When the wave retreats there remains burned smoke with gently poking spices and peat. This is a dry whisky, not too sweet, so it also feels bitter but in a way that pleases me. Second sip starts with less force and the gale wind is also less severe, the storm has found it’s rhythm and pace. At this moment you can start having more conversation and not just focus fully on the whisky. Third sip add intensity again, bringing out more fruits and spices while letting the smoke and ash remain more in the background. I must say I am impressed how this plays along with my taste and changes it form constantly.
The Finish is not endless, but it is a decent one. The waves break off and the calm remains. This dram is more focused on the moment you sip it, not in the afterglow. Some ash remains with pieces of peat, but they start fading away. The clouds pass, the sun shines again. Show is over.