Talisker is by no means a rare single malt, it’s one of Diageo’s “Classic Malts”, so it gets more than its fair share of marketing dollars. I also put classic malts in quotes because it’s more marketing than common accepted facts. For what it’s worth, the six included scotches do hit up the major areas of Scotland so it’s not an unfair claim, it’s just a marketing one.
OK, back to the task at hand – Talisker.
Talisker is an Island single malt and the only one on the Isle of Skye. In terms of Scotch Whisky Association’s region categorization, it’s part of the Islands sub-region of the massive Highlands. Founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, the distillery’s name comes from the settlement it leased land from, a settlement owned for centuries by the Clan Macleod (the clan of the fictitious Duncan and Connor Macleod from the Highlander series!). Talisker was acquired by Diageo in 1925.
Talisker’s regular lineup features a 10yo, 18yo, 25yo, and a Distiller’s edition. I’ve had the 10yo before but none of the others, so I had a sense of the spirit of Talisker before we got started. The remarkable flavor I always take away from Talisker is their ability to capture sea salt and the ocean in their whisky. You get the smoke, you get all the hints that it’s an island malt, but no one else (to my knowledge and experience so far) has captured the ocean in a bottle.
One distinction for Storm is that it carries no age statement, which is something Diageo has been trending towards (and a point of debate in our Facebook group), and they use a mix of first-fill and refill casks.
- Color: Dark gold
- Nose: My favorite part of Talisker Storm is the nose, you get the ocean or ocean spray right off the bat with a hint of citrus, smoke, and sweetness.
- Palate: You get sweetness from the get go with a bit of smoke on the backend, a reminder they’re still on an island and using peat. A little vanilla and the soft bite of pepper. There’s a bit of sharpness in it from the youth (you wouldn’t mistake it for an 18yo, but it’s not biting like a 3-yo bourbon) and some layered honey is in there.
- Finish: Nice finish, mostly sweetness and a little bit of saltiness on the back end.
Talisker Storm weighs in at 45.8% abv, and I’m able to pick it up at my local store for $63, just $7-8 more than their 10yo.
Nice review. I’m growing to love Talisker 10, and it was a good fit for me from the first sip. Just reading this, it’s occured to me that I will be visiting Talisker (time/weather permitting) during a tour of Scotland in August. Can’t wait for the trip, and I will need to remember to get some good photos of the distillery, whisky shopping in various cities, and duty free shelves to share with the group. I forgot to do any of this on my last trip in November.
Good review. I am loving my bottle of 10 yr, and looking forward to visiting the Talisker distillery during a 15 day Scotland tour this Aug. I forgot to snap photos of my shopping experience and Airport Duty Free shelves on my last trip, but I plan to do better with this trip. Then I can share with the group.
I may also have a chance to peek into Arran, Oban, Edradour and Blair Atholl distilleries along the way.
Wife got me a bottle of the talisker storm for Christmas. It was my first experience with Talisker. Pleasant surprise. This has got quite a bit going on, and all of it is good. Really enjoy the peat, and sea notes. No alcohol burn, and good finish. I guess I have to get a 10yo to try out. Definitely will be trying more of there offerings.
Hey Gary – Yeah I’m a big fan of them, love the sea notes, don’t see that often so it helps them stand out.