Talisker – 18 Year Old – Single Malt Scotch Whisky | 47.5% (95 Proof) $109.99 (Here)
Color/Appearance: Pale amber with an orange glow. This is most likely tinted and chill-filtered but as long as the quality and depth of flavor in the glass are good then I am not that concerned. Still it would be nice to have natural presentation since the malt underneath is worthy without alteration. Classic labeling and bottle are well designed. Gold touches and old nautical feel set the mood perfectly.
Nose: First lime, ginger and fresh cut grass. Then cherry blossoms, faint wisps of peat smoke, and waves crashing against the rocky shore. A rainy day, ozone and salt in the air. To me this Talisker profile is mouth watering, luring you in with its softness. This smells of the sea and shore. The peat is restrained and singing back-up.
Palate: Much punchier now with bracing blasts of the sea, so coastal and fresh. This stuff has a great challenging palate of intense flavors. A rush of peat, salt, coal dust, week old bandages, thyme, and black pepper. This is a raging storm. Or is it? A delicate malty string of warmer and inviting flavors are just below the surface. The bracing pinch of lemon transformed into plums, peaches and berries.
Finish: Pepper, peat and oak fade out slowly, exposing exotic flourishes of mint, raisins, tea and oranges.
Overall: With this Island wonder you are no longer just at the coast. You are sitting on a nice boat in the harbor eating oysters. Raw power replaced by effortlessness. Varnished wood and polished metal gleam. Lightly peated barley allows for a unique profile showcasing a middle ground where there is still a lot of room for excitement. I like what Talisker does, distilling a rough and tumble whisky that ages to become a thing of beauty. This is certainly why older Taliskers are so in demand. This 18 year is is just beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. This is a nice age since the youthful peat has yet to loose its vigor and the added complexity that comes with age is starting to do some wonderful things, take some time to listen.