Now I love my peated malts but not to long ago I wasn’t a big fan. I didn’t mind some of the lightly peated ones but couldn’t drink Ardbeg, Laphroaig or most Islay malts if I’m honest. I was more of a lightly peated Speyside single malt drinker. I did however like Talisker single malt, which although not an Islay malt is still seen by a lot of people as a really peated malt.
With my previous post from the around the world series stopping at the Isle of Skye and the Talisker distillery, I thought I’d revisit some of their expressions. The first one I’ve chosen to review is the iconic 10yo, probably the one Talisker every whisky drinker has tried at some point. Now it’s been a while since I last had a dram of this, will it still be the icon I remember?
Nose: Brine, soft campfire smoke, damp earthy note, apples, hint of honeycomb, after a while to breath some citrus notes start to develop.
Palate: Pepper, hint of brine, fire ash, oak, dark almond chocolate, hint of gentle sweet honey, hidden behind the pepper is some sweet apples and pears, towards the end you get a hint of smoke appear.
Finish: Big pepper with a hidden sweet undertone to it, quite long and full bodied in the mouth.
“Made by the sea” this tag line is so appropriate for this expression, for me this malt more than any other reminds me of the coast. The brine that is present on the nose and the palate, just makes me think of times walking the dog along the beach first thing after the tide has gone out. The sweetness and fruit is a little more prominent than I remembered but it just gave the dram much more depth, instantly making me see why I liked this malt even when I wasn’t into peated malts.
Is this still the iconic 10yo I remembered from those years ago, yes and no. Yes it’s Talisker 10, as soon as you smell the brine and smoke you can’t mistake it. No because I don’t remember the fruit and sweetness being as prominent on the palate, so now I feel it has more depth and complexity to it than I remembered. Making it better in my book, not every peated malt has to be about just the peat.
Talisker might not be everyone’s cup of tea and you might have to build up to it, especially if you normally don’t drink peated malts, but you should try it at least once in your life. You never know it could be the expression that changes your mind about peat.