Whisky Review – Talisker 10 Year Old

Talisker 10 Year Old
45.8% ABV
£33.95 from Master of Malt

I haven’t reviewed this whisky, but have enjoyed it for many years. As we have the new release of Talisker Skye, I thought it hide time I review this and side by side it with the new expression.
Colour. 
Lighter than Skye, so I would assume less colouring. 
Nose.
Quite different compared to Skye, more intense on the spicy smoke. More oak. BBQ glazed mackerel.  In your backyard bonfire. Cracked black pepper. Salty sea air. Much more maritime and reminiscent of a seaside fishing village. Less sweet than Skye and more intrinsically complex and sniffable. We have light citrus, some apples in the background, some berries in the background. The fruit is very much hidden away amongst the bonfire. 
Palate.
Sweet, spicy, big black pepper arrival. Chewy. The development is more seamless, without a big alcohol nip (unlike Skye). Lots of maritime notes, salt, barbecue crispy fish skin, aniseed, star anise, complex spice, creamy caramel, there is a overall creaminess to the palate not in Skye, there is sweetness here, but it’s not in your face, it’s in balance with the salt, smoke and other complexities. Much more of a challenging palate, gets you thinking and exploring
Finish.
Medium length, sweet and drying, crisp. Salt. Brine. Chocolate, berries, ripe apples, pears, some oak. A little more BBQ, complex and enjoyable. More rewarding and feelgood.
Adding water.
A few drops added. I don’t know if it’s my eyes or the lighting, but it looks like a little haze in my glass?! The nose is still Talisker through and through with some added floral. The smoke is slightly diminished, but still lots of maritime fun to be had. The palate, is sweeter, but development still comes layers of fruit, dark fruits, smoke, oak, salt, BBQ, lots of complexity. The finish is sweeter, but still satisfying, warming, and all round Talisker. 
Conclusion.
It’s Talisker. I named my cat Talisker for a reason, and this whisky is that reason.  It’s awesome, tasty, complex, characterful, and has a really bushy tail. May have got confused there a bit. All except for the last thing. It’s a great whisky. There is no rumour of its demise in favour of the other expressions out there, but I may just stock up a few extra bottles…just in case. 
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it several times. 46%. Non-chill filtered. No colouring. Please. Your as near as dammit to 46% anyway, surely obliterating the chill filtration would save you money in the production process anyway!!!
Comparison. Skye vs. 10 year old. 
It comes down to the most simplistic question. Do you want complex or easy drinking? If you want easy go Skye! If you want to taste your whisky, feel your whisky, and take your time. Go for the 10 year old. 
My own bottle….more Talisker expressions to come. 


Whisky Review – Talisker Skye


Talisker Skye
45.8% ABV
£38.95 from Master of Malt
The new, controversial non-age statement expression from Talisker on the Isle of Skye. I’m reviewing this directly side by side with the Talisker 10 year old. Both from bottles opened only a few days ago. 
Colour. 
The first thing to notice that Skye is darker than the 10. However, as the back suggests in German, we are in the added colouring zone. Colour is not as it seems. Other than I would suspect there is more in Skye. 
Nose.
Softly, softly, sweeter Talisker. More fruit and less smokey spice. Ripe Apple, pears, something candied orange peel like. Light pepper, light smoked mackerel. Bonfire smoke from a good distance. Sweet cinnamon. Pastry. Burnt brown sugar. Caramel. Treacle toffee. The smokiness is hidden behind the sweetness. It’s a simpler nose than the 10 year old. Sniffable, but sweetness heavy. 
Palate.
Sweet arrival, with a little smokey peat hit, alongside the alcohol nip.  Once subsided we have plenty of apples, pears, a touch of saltiness, sugar, caramel, toffee, some more fruit, then it kind of fades a little bit, and becomes sweet and watery with a little salty caramel, hint of chocolate. 
Finish.
Short-medium length, some pepper, lots of sweet caramel/toffee. Touches of salt, BBQ sauce, some charred oak, with a touch of gooseberry. Leaves the mouth dry  and needy, easy to drop back for another sip. 
Adding water.
A few drops added. There is more of a floral element up front, Parma violets. I would say the smoke is more prominent on the nose now, but the fruit is sidelined. Still sweet, and sugary, but in the floral sense. The palate is very sweet, sugared fruit, apples, pears, oranges, caramel, toffee, again fading out during the development. The finish, shorter, sweet, caramel, toffee, light fruit. One not to add water to as it lessens the experience. 
Conclusion.
It’s not bad. It is essentially Talisker for the masses. It’s very approachable and easy going, and has elements of the Talisker 10 year old we know and love. It’s easy drinking. A whisky more about drinking than experiencing whisky. 
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it several times. 46%. Non-chill filtered. No colouring. Please. Your as near as dammit to 46% anyway, surely obliterating the chill filtration would save you money in the production process anyway!!!
Comparison. Skye vs. 10 year old. 
It comes down to the most simplistic question. Do you want complex or easy drinking? If you want easy, quaffable whisky then go Skye! If you want to taste your whisky, feel your whisky, take your time and savour. Go for the 10 year old. 
My own bottle….more Talisker expressions to come.