Talisker – 10 Year Old | 45.80% abv (91.6 Proof), $54.99/bottle (Local Liquor Store)
Color/Appearance: Again we have a color additive and chill-filtering, though if you are going to do it, the result is rather beautiful in glass. Styling of the bottle is excellent with a classic look. With this look, the additions make some sense.
Nose: A windy gale breeze hitting you in the face at 40 degree’s cold (4 Celsius) and wet from a trip across the North Atlantic. Your nose can’t help but be constricted with the salty, spicy spray. Complex dense vegetation layering endlessly near the rocky shore, while soft soft smoke wafts from far away. Then someones grandmother’s house is there, with wafts of cinnamon and cardamom. All your senses are engaged with this smell. The Isle of Skye’s physical elements come together as an pure expression of place in this whisky. Well done.
Palate: The warm complex embrace of this liquid gives your brain no errant signals as it slides past. Things are moving quickly and smoothly to encompass a lot of flavors in a quick period of time, each burning brightly before fading into the whole. My mouth likes the rugged freshness of this pace. Framed really well with a foundation of peated base. This may not rank up there with those seeking higher and higher levels of peat but obviously the profile here is lead by this powerful taste. What is so nice is how the peat just helps to forms the larger picture, a stunning example of terroir in a whisky glass.
Finish: Staggering with its brute force in the best way possible. This classic clean black pepper spiciness melts slowly lingering with warming layers of elements of the land. A wisp of smoke and seaweed with salty air at your back. Talisker has such a nice balance with the intense nature of this coastline slowly fading out as you find a warmer place where you are wrapped in comfort. I am looking forward to trying this in the winter months.
Overall: A regional classic. This is such a nice whisky. This little rugged gem is a cornerstone. All whisky lovers owe them a bit of love. For here is an expression so pure to the land, that we have an unabashed taste of the place and people. You have to feel good knowing they are out there. Hoping to try this nice malt at older ages but wonder if the razor wire balance of bold youthfulness, softened so lightly with warm complexity, will only get to a place where I miss the super bright elemental feel. Looking forward to finding out, though recent price increases will certainly limit how many times that will happen.