Blind Tasting Competition 4 – Talisker 18, 45.8%

Talisker, Talisker, Talisker. I didn’t even consider it yesterday. I found a peaty dram that didn’t taste Islay enough to be from Islay, so it had to be Longrow. It had some ‘ocean’ flavours in it, so a dead giveaway. Right! Right?

Anyway, as Malt Maniacs Oliver and Keith said in this weeks episode of WhiskyCast (ep. 455) Talisker has been getting better and better over the last couple of years, while they were good about a decade ago. In between the drams were not as great as they were before. Them getting back in the saddle is a very good thing of course, but it makes their whisky rather inconsistent.

Slightly smoky and sweet. Some salt, a bit of an Islay-like scent too. It rather warming but also a bit cloying. Some sea weed and sand later on. After a couple of minutes I get some tar, banana and vanilla.

Talisker 18. Image from Whiskybase

Talisker 18. Image from Whiskybase

Not very sharp with black pepper and smoke. Salty with a touch of lemon and a rather clear influence of bourbon casks.

The smoke becomes a bit coarse now, like a fire that died half an hour ago. Sweet and salty and not much depth.

When I was at Talisker distillery in June I really, really, really loved the 18 and bought me a bottle. That, with the fact that the 18 is really hard to get in The Netherlands, I hope this is an older expression since this one cannot stand in the shadow of what I remember the one at the distillery tasted like.

I did remember the club’s Longrow 100 proof from a couple of years ago to be a LOT more gentle than it’s 57% suggested, and since I was already set on Longrow I went for that one. L’Hollande, zero points.

I didn’t have a particularly good feeling about yesterday’s guess but I didn’t expect to be this far off either. Strange. And again, I hope this is from an earlier batch as my Talisker 18.

Talisker 18, 45.8%, € 95 at Whiskybase. Yes, this whisky is very expensive in The Netherlands. But then again, at least they stock it.

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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10 Responses to Blind Tasting Competition 4 – Talisker 18, 45.8%

  1. Gal Granov says:

    that’s a tough one sir.
    did not detect any pepper?

  2. Yeah, you’re so right guys. When you see a number 18 printed on a bottle, you know exactly what to expect. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve sipped a whisky and thought, “This tastes of 18. It’s so eighteeny. It tastes at least SIX more than that 12 I had earlier.”.

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