Talisker 10 Years Old (2016)
I wouldn’t describe myself as the biggest Talisker fan, but I can surely appreciate a good Talisker. The Talisker 10 Years Old however, has so far avoided my scrutiny. Not on purpose or anything, as a sample for reviewing purposes has been sitting in my sample drawer for a little while now. It’s just one of those things.
The Talisker 10 Years Old has a lot of fans, but whenever this whisky is discussed, the main topic is its declining quality. Now I can not attest to that with full authority, but I do have an open bottle of Talisker 10 Years Old that was bottled in 2004. That’s over a decade ago. I would score the whisky from that bottle just above the mid-80s, probably 86 or 87 points.
If the people complaining about the inferior quality of modern bottlings are right, I shouldn’t score a modern Talisker 10 Years Old higher. Well, let’s see how that works out, okay?
Talisker 10 Years Old (45,8%, OB, +/- 2016)
Nose: Warming and maritime with plenty of barbecue notes, as well as some smoked paprika, bolognese chips (which I believe is something Dutch) and honey. Some dried fruits, as well as bitter oranges and lemon zest. Very gentle and inviting, and superbly balanced.
Taste: A thick and oily spirit. Roasted peanut skins and rum-soaked raisins, but with a spicy, pepper-y edge. Soft and subtle peat smoke with just a whisper of salt. Very, very decent.
Finish: Lingering peat and smoke with dried fruits and salt.
Come on, this is just awesome stuff. Ridiculously good value for money. Those Diageo chaps seem to know what they’re doing 😉
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.