Talisker Dark Storm (2014)
Talisker is one of Diageo’s highest profile distilleries, and has an excellent reputation, which is mainly based on the great and affordable Talisker 10 Year Old. The distillery also has a plethora of other expressions though, of which the Talisker Dark Storm is one.
The Dark Storm is one of the many No Age Statement whiskies from Talisker. With barely any information available on the age and cask types used for those, it is hard to distinguish one from another. The Dark Storm’s distinguishing feature however, is that heavily charred oak casks were used to mature the spirit. Originally released for Travel Retail, this whisky is marketed as the smokiest Talisker yet.
Talisker Dark Storm (45,8%, OB, +/- 2014)
Nose: A touch of balsamic vinegar, lemon rasp and sour grapes, accompanied by sweeter notes of cherry syrup and marzipan, but also a gentle spiciness. Soft smoke… slightly perfumey.
Taste: Plenty of oak, seriously spicy (ginger, chili pepper) and a fair amount of peat. There’s also a layer of sweetness, mainly caramel. A hint of copper too, which I could’ve done without.
Finish: Smoke, with chili peppers lingering for a while.
Outspoken and with its own character, which is always a plus. Not exactly my cup of tea, but objectively (or as objective as one can be) a very fine whisky.
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.