During my visit to the Talisker distillery and the fact that our cottage was about 50 meters from the entrance to the visitor center, I was able to do the extensive tasting tour.
The difference in the tour is, as expected, the tasting at the end and the rest is rather similar with the standard tour, apart from seeing the worm tubs outside the distiller. During the tasting the knowledgeable guide was present too which made for more guidance in tasting and discussion. Good stuff!
Talisker new make spirit, 63.5%
There is the slightest hint of peat, but you have to know that to find it. Mostly it’s sweetness, over ripe fruit and some white pepper on the nose. The palate has quite some peat, surprisingly enough. Also smoke and lots of fruity sweetness again. The finish is slightly medicinal and not very long.
Talisker 10 year old, 45.8%
The standard Talisker and always a good dram. Soft, gentle smoke with some peaty hints and a certain crispness to it. The palate is rather peppery and peaty, with a touch of fruit. The finish is more tropical with peat and smoke. (Master of Malt stocks it)
Talisker 18 year old, 45.8%
This one is much more gentle than the 10 year old. Light smoke, lots of pepper with all flavours boosted. Vanilla, wood, orchard fruits like apples and dried apples too. The palate smooth, well balanced with creamy vanilla, apples and peat. The finish goes back to pepper, smoke, wood and some candied fruit. Rather long as well. (The Whisky Exchange stocks it)
I always thought the 10 year old was a mix of sherry and bourbon casks, but apparently it’s only bourbon casks. The tropical fruit is more in a direction of pineapple and such in both the 10 and 18 year old. While I love the 10 year old and it’s something everyone should try on a regular basis, the 18 is a stunner. I only had a bottle of that years ago and it’s been quite hard to get in The Netherlands, especially at a decent price. Luckily it was for sale in the shop and not too expensive. I picked up a bottle for me and a friend.
I’ve never been a fan of drinking whisky spirits. I find it more something that’s interesting than tasty. In this case that is no different. It’s interesting, but it doesn’t really appeal to me. Didn’t finish it.
Oh, and why should everyone taste the 10 year old regularly? It’s a very solid whisky that reminds many of the fanatics like myself that a good dram doesn’t have to cost € 100.