Growing up on the (New) Jersey Shore, the ocean is in my blood. So when I read ‘Made By The Sea’ on each bottle of Talisker, I think it should include ‘For when you can’t be by the sea’. But either way, I was more than happy to include this lineup to my Short Attention Span Reviews. And, since I sampled them side-by-side, I wanted to give you my first side-by-side review. I should note, I had previously tried the 18yr and may have been a little biased because that is such an amazing dram. But I didn’t let that get in my way of enjoying every step of this tasting. So, here we go…
- Talisker Skye – Based on what I knew about Talisker going into this flight, this was not what I was expecting. It was a lot softer of a whisky. Still spicy and rich, but much lighter on the smoke. I can see this as a great entry whisky for someone wanting to get into something more smokey.
- Talisker 10yr – Now there is the smoke and peat I was looking for. It’s not as overpowering as a typical Islay Whisky, but a big step up from the Skye. There is still a sweetness and you can almost smell the saltwater. I can see this going perfect with a dozen oysters. It’s finished off with a warm and spicy pepper. Now I see why it’s one of their benchmark whiskies.
- Talisker Storm – I love this. As a true lover of smoky whiskies, this one satisfies my love for peat. It’s as if they just took what was good about the 10, and just added more smoke. Just… yes. Yes!
- Talisker 18yr – Yeah, so. This has become one of my all time favorites. It takes everything I loved about the other three, combines them, smoothes them out and creates liquid gold. There is still the Talisker smoke, spices and sweetness, just on another level. Each sip and nose brought more out something new on the palate.
There is the phrase “Older whisky isn’t always better whisky”. I firmly believe that as I have had some 12 yr whiskies that beat out their much older brothers. But this time, the older whisky is the better whisky. However, each one has their place in the lineup and are all are award winners for a reason. The Skye (Gold at IWSC) is a great entry whisky, the 10yr (Double Gold, Best Single Malt up to 12 years at SFWSC) is a solid staple and great everyday smokey dram, and the Storm (Double Gold and Best Non Age Declared Singe Malt at SFWSC) is a great whisky for when you need that extra bit of smoke in your glass.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to enjoy another glass of the 18yr. Cheers.