Well-known Talisker distillery is located at the island of Skye in the north part of Inner Hebrides. Now it’s owned by Diageo and is a part of Diageo’s «Classic Malts» series.
10 years old single malt whisky is most affordable Talisker bottling and, at the same time, most peated whisky produced at Talisker distillery. It can’t match against Islay heavy peated whisky but definitely has sharp peat notes in the taste.
I was testing Taliker 10 years old whisky over the time of a week on evening at home in usual conditions: room temperature, special scotch glass, 4o ml whisky neat and with a few drops of clear water.
I was overwhelmed with the nose, rich and intensive. In the strongest tone of the aroma I found sweet dried apples and peat. Somewhere near a «sea» layer lay – iodine and salt. Surprisingly, wood notes were below all with a light smokiness .
After dilution, the nose changed its profile. Wood, fruits and spices, all they prevail leaving peat, salt and smoke on background.
It started with wood, peat and light burning on the tongue. A moment later smoke, black pepper, salt and oak came to the front. On the palate I felt warm fruit flavour – prunes and dried pears – and a little cinnamon.
Initially water turned the taste to the sweet side. But later the taste became dry and bitter very quickly when wood, peat, smoke and spices returned. This quick move from a sweet side to a bitter one didn’t harm impressions, it made the taste more clear and energetic.
Aftertaste was not as rich as the nose or the taste. Peat and oak were main tones with light hints of apples, iodine and spices
Dilution increased smokiness in the aftertaste and created heavier profile. Peat and oak competed with iodine and salt moving light fruit hints deeper on the background.
My opinion is that 10 years old Talisker whisky is the one of the best Scotch whisky examples for beginners. It presents features of unpeated Highland whiskies and famous peated scothes from Islay at the same time.
The whisky is quite strong but on the other hand it’s fine and shows some depth and complexity. And after all, it’s quite cheap.
What else a single malt whisky for beginners should have?