The Talisker Surge costs roughly around twice as much as the Talisker 10 (which is a classic for a reason), but there’s nothing to indicate why. Unless they’re hiding from us that it is actually much older, but that would defeat the entire purpose of whiskies without an age statement.
The Talisker Surge press release simply annoyed me. A whisky finished in first-fill bourbon casks? I mean, come on. That’s not cool. That just sounds lazy. As if the higher-ups demanded a new release, but the margins had to be extremely high, and this is all that the blending team was allowed to throw together. Talisker is probably one of the best distilleries Scotland has, but this does not do them any favours.
But still, it is only fair that I at least taste the whisky. So, I managed to secure a sample and got to work. And of course it is actually good. Because no matter the BS press release, this is still Talisker we’re talking about.
Talisker Surge (45.8%, OB, 2022)
Nose: Gentle bonfires and soft medicinal, coastal elements intertwined with sweet vanilla custard, honey and caramel, as well as a tinge of orange zest. Touches of chalk and crushed mint leaves as well. Not the most complex but very well done. Taste: The mouthfeel is relatively thin (but don’t mistake that for watery), especially considering the decent abv. Sweet caramel and toffee with ashy peat smoke and a gentle saline quality, as well as a whisper of iodine, minerals, cough syrup and pepper. Soft herbal notes and some oranges, but otherwise little fruit. Finish: Medium length. Lingering vegetal notes and salty peat.
For all my bitching about yet another NAS Talisker with little transparency, this is actually a tasty single malt. It can't hold its own next to the official Talisker 10, but I would certainly not say no when somebody offered me a glass of Talisker Surge.