Talisker 18 Years Old (2020)
I don’t often review the same whisky twice but today I’m making an exception. I’ve posted tasting notes for the Talisker 18 Years Old almost five years ago, but even then those notes weren’t exactly based on a current release. In fact, that sample was from a bottle of Talisker 18 Years Old from 2007. I loved it, but ever since I’ve been curious to find out how it stack up to a newer batch.
So this is something that’s been on my to do list for a while and now I’m finally getting around to it. The Talisker 10 is often named as an example of a whisky that has declined in quality over the years. I can’t attest to that but at least I can try and see if its older brother has kept up its high standard.
Talisker 18 Years Old (45.8%, OB, 2020)
Nose: Subtle and elegant. Notes of olive brine, soft campfire smoke and embers. Then there’s room for smoked paprika powder, dried red fruits and salted caramel. Finally a whiff of aniseed. A whisky made for nosing. Supremely balanced.
Taste: Silky, salty and sweet with a proper pinch of pepper on the tip of the tongue. Soft ashes, charred oak and grilled meats, with some very subtle grapefruit and cherry syrup. Finally some cigar tobacco.
Finish: Lingering pepper, sour cherries, menthol. Medium in length.
Still on top of its game. The Talisker 18 is undeniably tasty and the result of a proper balancing act by the master blender. Compared to my notes from the older version (I’m not going to pretend I still remember exactly what it tasted like), I can only conclude it changed, but it’s certainly very good still.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
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.