Archive for the ‘Talisker’ Category

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Talisker 2008 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV1141/ Dist: Dec 1992 Btl: Apr 2015/ Tasted: May 2015

Quite a briny and fresh nose displaying lime, lemon and elemental, manurey peat. Pleasantly rounded with a light pepper and ash note appearing.

Soft, barley, brine and sweet vanilla notes mingle with ashy, charcoaly, dusty peat on the palate. It feels more like Coal Ila than Talisker but there’s a light pepper note on the middle. Lovely, long ashy finish with a light oily/ tarry finish


Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Talisker 2009 (7 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2643/ Dist: Nov 2007 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Fresh, coastal and barley’d aromas. The nose has an almost ‘old skool’ Caol Ila salty freshness. Hints of orange, tangerine, gooseberry and sweet, heathery peat emerge along with some late manurey peat and sweet vanilla.

The palate opens with the barley and oak with a touch of honey, which gives it quite sweet start and makes it feel fuller than the nose suggests. Hints of tangerine, apricot and apple follow, along with balancing coastal notes. Very lightly peated with herbal notes. Long and very salty now with the citrus joining in and finishing with a boat load of black pepper. Now, that’s an impressive cask!

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Talisker 2008 (8 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2461/ Dist: Apr 2008 Btl: July 2016?/ Tasted: Aug 2016

The nose is quite peaty, especially by Talisker standards with oily peat, tar and burnt wood smoke. With time hints of manure, fish oils white fruit, salt and black pepper notes emerge.

The palate is pleasantly fresh with soot and peat dust to begin with. Fills out well on the middle as the barley appears along with malt and fish oil notes. Lovely, intense, briny, lemon and peppery spice finish with the peat lingering well.


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2009 (5 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0178/ Dist: Nov 2009 Btl: Mar 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

The nose is a little raw and feinty with dusty peat and nascent apricot and white fruit notes. With time a touch of crisp lime and lemon appears.

The palate is lightly oiled with barley, lime and hints of sweet barley and dusty peat. Young, un-peppered and straightforward with a lightly salted finish and lingering citrus.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2010 (5 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0257/ Dist: Nov 2010 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

A heavily oiled nose with subtle barley, manure and pepper notes. With time hints of lime and peat appear.

The palate is very subtle and quite peppery with barley and faint ‘off the still’ notes. Lightly herbal with gentle earthy peat and salt. Medium length with the ‘off the still’ notes returning, but the pepper notes linger. I think this would have been a fabulous cask if it had been given more time as the classic Talisker pepperiness is very evident.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2007? (6 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0030/ Dist: ???? Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A lovely nose of sweet barley, white fruit, light pepper, dusty spice. Robust with a freshening coastal note and hints of boiled sweets and sweet peat.

The palate is soft and full of youthful white fruit, sweet barley, light pepper and dry peat. Lightly astringent with some salty notes on the middle. Lovely intensity and mouth-watering salty, dry peat smoke finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2008 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0059/ Dist: Apr 2008 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Youthful aromas of sweet barley and oily ‘off the still’ notes. With time it becomes a little soapy and quite perfumed with rose Turkish delight and sweet spices emerging.

The palate is very young and oily. Again there is no shortage of ‘off the still’ notes along with soft barley and a touch of toffee. Just like on the nose that soapy, perfumed Turkish delight character comes through on the middle. Medium length with a touch of light peat smoke, plus herbal and maritime notes in the finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2008 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0083/ Dist: Dec 2008 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Feb 2015

A fresh and citric nose. Quite coastal with a touch of dusty peat. Hints of sweet barley, pear and apple appear as the peat becomes increasingly sooty.

The palate displays a little more toffee’d oak character which makes it feel fuller. Hints of salt, gentle, sweet peat, sweet-ish barley and a touch of honey add complexity. Good, lightly oiled and coastal finish with lingering white fruit and barley. Finally there is a peppery flourish to finish things of. Excellent value for money!

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Talisker 2010 (6 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: HEP0238/ Dist: Nov 2010 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Dec 2016

The aromas are quite coastal and high toned with a fair amount of peat. It’s a little like old skool Caol Ila with a lovely freshness. A touch of granulated sugar coated barley appears along with a suggestion of youthful soapiness and some herbal and lightly phenolic notes.

The palate is fresh but slightly milky with white fruit, barley, salt and astringent peat. Excellent salt/ sweetness balance with the herbal and phenolic notes coming through on the middle. Intense, citric and briny finish with a subtle heathery peat note lingering.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Talisker ‘Young & Feisty’ 46%

Tasted: Oct 2013

Nose: Initially the nose is very youthful and cereally with plenty of crisp citrus fruit plus hints of earth, barley, white liquorice and brine. Some light peat smoke and grilled meat smoke drifts in along with a touch of manure and coffee.

Palate: The palate has a pleasant sharp citrus beginning with a touch of white fruit and gentle peat. It becomes fuller and fleshier with time as the sweet barley comes through.

Finish: A good length with the citrus and smoke lingering. The peat has become sweeter and there’s an almost Sauvignon Blanc-esque green fruit note in the aftertaste.

Conclusion: Pleasant young and fresh with a surprising depth given that it appears to have been aged in very well used casks (given the lack of colour)

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Talisker ‘Young & Feisty’ 2008 (5 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV1119/ Dist: 2008 Btl: 2014

Deep aromas of barley and white fruits with some subtle coastal notes. Hints of lime, oak and gentle peat smoke appear.

The palate is initially quite peppery and subtly spiced with building brine and wood tannins. Hints of barley, white fruit and honey come through on the middle. Long and spicy with the subtle earthy peat putting in an appearance. Crisp and ‘fiesty’ citric finish. Very enjoyable!

Gordon & MacPhail’s ‘Secret Stills 1.1’ Isle of Skye 1955 (50 year old) 45%

Sherry/ Dist: May 1955 Btl: Oct 2005/ Tasted: Nov 2006

A stunning, full and rich nose of Cognac-esue dried fruit, mature honey, soft spices, heather, dark marzipan, coffee, nuts, dark chocolate and mature sherry cask notes. Extremely complex and venerable but it still has an amazing fresh edge to the aromas. 

Surprisingly light on the palate, opening with spiced fruit cake, mature honey, malt, coffee, peppery spice, nuts, dried fruit, prunes and a touch of vanilla. Awesome depth and complexity! It reminds me of an alcoholic version of Tamsin’s cardamom  chocolate cake! – and that’s high praise! The mouth is liberally coated by the wonderfully mature dram. Superbly long with plenty of wood spices on the finish.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Talisker 2001 (10 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2062/ Dist: Jun 2001 Btl: June 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

The nose is very sweet and toffee’d for a Talisker, however there is some trademark soft peppery notes and a smidgen of peat in amongst all that oak. In fact this is a very fruity little number with oodles of sweet pineapple and vanilla emerging. It’s not overly coastal, so I would guess this has been mainland matured for most of its life.

The palate follows the same path as the nose. Pleasantly sweet and fruity with honey, malt, oak and youthful cereal notes. Even the peat is quite sweet but the missing brine and light phenolics come through on the palate along with some deliciously mouth-watering barley. The classic peppery bite emerges on the finish along with some dry spice and coal dust.

It’s a bit of a sly malt to be honest. At first you think it’s a touch on the one dimensional side but then it just keeps developing and revealing more character until you sit back and think – Actually, this is pretty good spirit!


Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Talisker 2008 (5 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PBR0137/ Dist: Dec 2008 Btl: Nov 2014/ Tasted: Dec 2014

Pleasant aromas of apricot and barley with a light honey sheen. Hints of spice and gentle peat smoke emerge. There is no real oak input but the spirit is clean and fresh with a youthful oiliness, but the sugars make sure that oiliness doesn’t become too dominant.

The palate is soft and a little watery, but quite smoky. Dry, dusty, gritty peat comes through on the middle with hints of white fruit, which takes on a pulped demeanour. Good, crisp, salty finish. It’s very enjoyable given its relative simplicity and lack of oak character.


Douglas Laing Provenance Talisker 2009 (7 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1248/ DL11521

Dist: Nov 2009 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Feb 2017

Fishy and briny aromas with taught, lightly medicinal peat and sweet barley. More Islay in character than Skye with late hints of burnt wood, toast and subtle pepper.

The palate is fresh and crisp with apricot, white fruit and sweet barley. A lovely combination of dry and medicinal peat follows along with some very subtle oak. Good balance and intensity with developing peppery spice. Long and salty with lingering white fruit.

Douglas Laing Provenance Talisker 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PRV1274/ Dist: Dec 2008 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: May 2017

A dense and coastal nose with a good depth of granulated sugar coated barley. Slightly medicinal with hints of gooseberry, lime, vanilla and peat smoke.

The palate is earthy and subtly peated with plenty of sweet barley, white fruit and granulated sugar. It does become pretty sweet on the middle but there’s just enough salt to balance. Long and not surprisingly, remaining sweet and barley’d with a gentle wood spice and peat dust finish. Actually it’s very appealing.

Talisker 10 year old 45.8%

Tasted: May 2005

Clean, a bit of a muted/ delicate coastal nose, followed by lashings of creamy oak, slight orange fruit and a hint of wood smoked kippers. Dry med bodied, slightly floral, quite saline with bourbon oak and honey. Tangy alcohol, quite viscous, long length with oak evident and a touch of smoked kippers in the finish.

Talisker 10 year old 45.8%

Re-Tasted: Sept 2011

A soft and briny nose with some dense, slightly confected sherry notes, orange peel and black pepper. It does become rather sweet, verging on being overly sweet but a touch of peat and smoke tries to emerge and balance the sugaryness. I don’t remember it being quite this sweet though.

Like the nose the palate is soft and sweet, quite rich with caramel laced sherried fruit. The middle is pleasantly piquant with plenty of pepper along with hints of camphor and menthol. Good length with some lovely sweet barley, gentle peat and brine in the finish. For me the palate has a better balance than the nose.

Talisker 10 year old 45.8%

Re-Tasted: Apr 2017

After finding out that I gave it a 9.2 when I tasted it for the World Whisky Awards, I had to check and make sure that it wasn’t a fluke! The last time I tasted it was 6 years ago and it was ok, if a little confected, but now it’s a completely different animal.

The nose opens with the subtly rich and treacly sherry with hints of dusty peat, orchard fruit, prune, salt and orange. The sherry is quite dominant, but there’s plenty of character on display with a touch of tobacco, earth, liquorice, anise and peat smoke.

The palate is full, rich, and like the nose, quite heavy on the sherry with a slight bittering from the wood. However the gentle peat smoke and astringent coastal notes balance the rich, pruney dried fruit and treacle. Very salty finish with a noticeable but pleasant astringency and hints of burnt wood, pepper, orange conserve and peat smoke on the finish.

Talisker 2001 (11 year old) Distillers Edition 45.8%

Tasted: Jan 2013

Nose: Quite a broad and surprisingly not hugely alcoholic! Robust sherry mingles with building maurey-peat. Lightly coastal with hints of orange. A bit one-dimensional but very deep though. With water it becomes pleasantly juicy with an oily sheen to the orange notes and a touch of mocha.

Palate: Assam tea leaves and gentle sherry notes to begin with, followed by peat dust and alcohol. Quite earthy with hints of pepper and tannins. Diluted it becomes watery and a touch vague with a slight cardboard note.

Finish: Very intense and mouth-watering. The peat gently fades with a lovely, juicy dried fruit finish. Diluted it is short and a bit unsubstantial.

Conclusion: A deep, if rather one-dimensional nose. Neat it’s all back-end loaded. With water the nose improves but the palate takes a step backwards.

Talisker 2001 (11 year old) Distillers Edition 45.8%

Re-Tasted: Feb 2013

Nose: Oily pineapple, citrus, apricot and a touch of banana. A veritable fruit salad of a nose! Hints of barley and oak add to the complexity.

Palate: Soft and oily with gentle citrus to begin with. A little less expressive than the nose but it has a pleasant barley sweetness.

Finish: Good length with the barley showing in the finish.

Conclusion: Not bad. Maybe the key to this malt is in its simplicity.

Talisker 1989 (13 year old) Distillers Edition 45.8%

Dist: 1989 Btl: 2002/ Tasted: Feb 2006

Very heavy Oloroso sherry aromas with some orange fruit along with a touch of peat and smoke. The palate is pretty much the same, swamped in Oloroso. The spirit does exert it’s self with a peppery and dry peat middle. Very long with hints of vanilla, toffee and coal dust in the finish.

Talisker 1992 (13 year old) Distillers Edition 43%

Amoroso Sherry/ Dist: 1992 Btl: 2005/ Tasted: Dec 2008

An intense and peaty, peppery nose. Quiet woody with oodles of bog myrtle and coastal peat and wonderfully sweet orange and herbal honey. The aromas broaden given time and the sweetness increases.

The palate opens with a very sweet entry, again quiet woody with liquid honey, flecked with dry, sooty peat. Coastal notes flood the mid palate and the peat and barley cut the sweetness off. Very long with a heathery/ herbal finish. The sweetness creeps back eventually. My only gripe with this is that it doesn’t seem to flow; the flavours are delivered in an almost staccato way and seems rather choppy. Does that make sense?

Talisker 18 year old 45.8%

Tasted: June 2005

Clean, deep aromas of rich orange and tangerine sherry fruit, gentle smoke and a coastal freshness with vanilla oak and spices attempting to break through – a vast improvement on the 10.

Dry, full bodied, soft, deep and rich with sweet malt, dried, oily fruit, sherry, coal smoke and a gentle build up of floral peat which fades into a spicy fruity, saline finish with a suggestion of vanilla oak on the after taste.

Talisker 57o North 57%

Tasted: Nov 2009

A hugely saline nose. I can feel the salt crystallising on my nasal passageways! Big, robust and vanilla’d with some sherry and youthful marc-like notes. Light smoke drifts in as does some delightfully sweet herbal-peat along with the late trademark pepper note.

It is moderately oily on the palate. Opening with a big, robust vanilla impact. However there is an excellent interplay between the vanillins, alcohol, light peat, smoke and spice flavours. Finally the coastal spray asserts itself and finishes with that classic peppery bite. Oooh my tongue is tingling with the freshness!

A drop of water brings out a lovely, aromatic orange note along with some honey and light beeswax. On the palate it emphasises the pepper and it has become a bit candied-sweet. The pepper really bites on the middle and the light peat and smoke full in on the finish. Talisker is one of those malts which really reflects its environment perfectly.

Talisker 57o North 57%

Tasted: Feb 2012

A juicy, coastal imbued nose of barley along with hints of boiled sweets and sugared almonds. Some fairly prominent peat pushes through as does some peppery notes. A lovely depth.

Succulent, honeyed, muscavado sugar coated citrus fruit and vanilla fills the mouth. The alcohol powers through with a distinctly herbal edge, and finally some mocha laced gentle peat smoke drifts in. Very long with more than a soupcon of peppery spice! Conclusion: Superb stuff. A serious wake up dram!

Talisker Storm 45.8%

Tasted: Apr 2013

A softly intense, smoky and peppery nose. This is how Talisker should be! Vibrant juicy sherry with plenty of herbal and smoke notes. It’s wild…….. But at the same time quite civilized too! Lightly fishy with a spicy, perfumed orange note.

The palate is soft and succulent, opening with the young spirit showing some oily youthful cereal, followed by some gentle coastal/astringent-peat and fishy notes. The sherry kicks in on the middle adding herbal notes as does the intensity as the more mature spirit arrives. Lovely length with a touch of dark chocolate, crystalised violets and a lovely windswept coastal peat smoke as well as a lingering, lightly honeyed, spicy richness. Yes the palate has some rough edges but that only adds to the charm. If only the 10 year old was this good!

Talisker Dark Storm 45.8% (1ltr Travel Retail)

Charred oak casks/  Tasted: Sept 2013

The nose is a little spirity with quite an alcohol prickle. It’s not the cleanest spirit I’ve ever encountered with burnt caramel, burnt toast, a touch of treacle and manurey-peat.

The palate is soft and a touch watery with burnt caramel, light peat and treacle. It’s quite hollow with a strange finish that just lingers in the side of mouth with a green woody spice character and a briny after-taste.

The marketing blurb says that it has been “Matured in deep charred oak casks for extra spice and smoke” and that “It is an incredible new flavour-offering from one of the world’s best known and most loved Scotch Whiskies” and “It is a whisky that is true to the Talisker house style but takes its trademark intensity to a whole new level – it is like a whole new ocean of flavour.”

Personally it tasted like this is less than perfect spirit that has been wacked into these heavily charred casks in order to rejuvenate it. A whole new ocean of flavour huh? Hmm that’s stretching the point a bit. I mean if it had been any good it wouldn’t have been released in large bottles as a travel retail special would it!

Talisker Port Ruighe 45.8%

Port Finished

Tasted: Aug 2013

A big, sweet nose of floral redcurrant and strawberry with a light herbal, camphor and smoky-peat note. With time it becomes quite briny as the port notes settle down and dominate the nose less.

The palate is lightly jammy with redcurrant and strawberry. Quite malty with a pleasant degree of youthful peat along with hints of iodine and bog myrtle. The saltiness builds on the middle but the port wood finish flattens it somewhat. The finish is quite strange as the plumy/ jammy port clashes with the peat. All I can say is that it’s a bit mad! Very dry, salty and lightly bitter finish.

Talisker Port Ruighe 45.8%

Port Finished

Re-Tasted: Dec 2013

The nose is soft and winey with coffee’d peat, warm spice, pepper along with a touch of orange and warm vanilla.

The palate is quite winey like the nose with hints of citrus, pepper and light peat. The Port dominates the middle and gives the fruit quite a syrupy coating. Short and sugared finish.

Talisker Skye 45.8%

Tasted: Mar 2015

Nose: Dry, dusty, herbal and lightly tarry peat. Full and rich with what appears to be a subtle boiled sweet sherry note which develops into an almost Pedro Ximinez-like dried grape and prune note. Well balanced by some crisp citrus.

Palate: Soft and earthy with a touch of herbal peat and soot. Like the nose some sherried dried fruit sits in the background. Quite robust and full with a light salinity and developing hints of orange and burnt wood.

Finish: Very long with camphor and light eucalyptus notes mingling with the dry peat and tannins.

Conclusion: Seriously impressive. The combination of oils and soot stick to the palate long after a sip has been taken.