I feel it is about time I reviewed some Talisker and as many of you out there know I generally stay away from whisky that is known to be peat dominant, so this could be rather interesting..
The Talisker distillery can be found on the Isle of Skye and was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill and was built in 1831 at Carbost after a number of other sites had initially fallen through. The Distillery was then rebuilt in 1880-1887 and extended again in 190 before the distillery was destroyed in 1960 after a fire in the still house and rebuilt again.. Initially the Distillery performed a triple distillation until changing to the more conventional double distillation in 1928 and in 1972 the stills were converted to steam heated and the traditional melting floor was also demolished.
Todays review will be a 3 way review starting with the New make spirit before heading to the Skye expression and finally the Distillers edition 2005-2015..
Talisker new make.. Generally comes from the still at 69% but this was bottled at the standard in cask strength 63.5% on the 21-9-2017..
Nose.. Fruity with a real subtle hint of peat, floral notes with malty notes..
Palate.. There’s that peat.. The peat is more obvious on the palate with the fruity notes once again showing through, a little oily and very smooth..
Next up is the Talisker Skye..
Introduced in 2015, and named after the island it hails from.. Bottled at 45.8% and is matured in both refill and toasted American oak casks..
Nose.. Sweet at first with butterscotch, toffee and vanilla before the fresh fruits come along, subtle spices, coastal notes and soft smoke all balance this rather well..
Palate.. The peat is more noticeable but certainly not overpowering, fresh fruits, toffee apples and soft oak and gentle smoke all come through with hints of citrus and sea spray..
Finish.. Spicy oak with a twist of smoke.
Last in this 3 way is the Talisker Distillers edition 2005-2015. Bottled at 45.8% and finished in Amoroso casks.
Nose.. Fruity with sweet notes all wrapped in a smoke envelope and opened on the rocks with the sea splashing all around you.. Ok I know … but you get the picture.
Palate.. Sweet smoke with slices of fresh orange, vanilla fudge, Dark chocolate infused with ginger, waffles and maple syrup..
Finish.. A Smokey, chocolate spice bomb..
Thoughts.. I am quite surprised at just how much I enjoyed these 2 malts and the new make knowing my normal reluctance for drinking the more peated drams but these 3 examples feel rather well balanced and maybe, just maybe my palate is starting to evolve a little..
The new make was the biggest surprise for me as I expected an onslaught of peat and smoke but got the total opposite really, subtle smoke mixed with a real fruity nose before the palate releases that peat and touch of smoke.. Then the Skye with a real balance between the evolution of that smoke and the fruity sweet flavours that were again surprisingly enjoyable for me, none of those big dominant peaty flavours that I expected.. Really enjoyable.
The Distillers edition thought was the stand out one for me, the sweetness from those Amoroso casks really hit the spot, they just enhance the coastal notes and smoke perfectly..
The journey continues….
Thanks to Colin Dunn for the official New Make sample..
A little New makes one Skye and a Distillers Edition..
(Below) pictures courtesy of Talisker..