Talisker is a very popular distillery located on the Isle of Skye. It was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill and built in 1831 at Carbost, Scotland. This particular area in Scotland is steep in tradition and many still speak Scottish Gaelic there. Diageo are the current owners of Talisker who has an annual production of two million liters. They great this volume of whisky from two wash stills and three spirit stills. The third still dates back to before 1928 during a period when Talisker produced triple distilled whisky. The malt used in distillation is brought in from Glen Ord and has a peat level of 22ppm. This is considered a high peated level for a non-Islay malt. Additionally the water used for production, from Cnoc nan Speireag, flows over peat which helps create a smokiness in their whisky. In 2013 Diageo introduced a new no age statement variant of Talisker single malt: Talisker Storm. The name reflects the distiller’s aspiration to enhance the maritime notes in this expression. Refill and rejuvenated casks have both contributed to its maturation. It’s non-chill filtered and bottled at 45.8% ABV.
Nose: salty, brine, sea breeze, light smoke, seaweed, vanilla, citrus, berries
Mouth: spicy, salty, soft texture, lemons, honey, raspberries, blueberries
Finish: sugary sweetness, burnt wood chips, dark chocolate
Verdict: The nose on this whisky starts out with a salty sea breeze, followed by light smoke and seaweed. Later there is evidence of vanilla, citrus and some berries. I’m very surprised by the berry note on the nose which is not something common in a Talisker. The palate is surprisingly not smoky but it definitely has the trademark Talisker spiciness. Despite the pepper the texture is pillowy soft and feels very youthful. There’s a good amount of honey, raspberries, blueberries and lemon citrus flavors. The smoke returns on the finish in the form of burnt apple wood chips. There’s some nice sugary sweetness and lingering dark chocolate notes. This whisky is one of the smokiest Talisker’s I’ve tasted and even though it’s definitely a young whisky this expression brings something decidedly new and exciting to their range. I particularly enjoyed the balance achieved by pairing the sweet fruity notes with the salt and peat.