This is a preview of a review going up on my blog next Wednesday. Please feel free to comment with your constructive criticism
I'm loath to admit I have never owned a bottle of Talisker until about two weeks ago. I've read mixed reviews, and I was worried about dropping $100 CAD on a bottle. Luckily, a good friend visited La belle province (i.e. Québec) a few weeks ago and got me a bottle for $67 CAD. This was a much safer gamble. I often wonder if people are critical of Diageo-owned distilleries simply because many equate "big corporation" with "bad". I don't really want to get into politics here, mostly because I'm still new to the inner workings of the whisky world and I don't feel it's my place.
Nose (undiluted): brine, smoke, bonfire by the sea, dried leaves (tobacco?), mineral water, damp peat, pepper, this is one of the most inviting and unique noses I've encountered. I could spend hours simply nosing this whisky.
Palate (undiluted): medium to full-bodied and rich, white pepper, sea salt, smoke, vegetal yet subtly sweet peat drying fairly quickly, ginger notes
Finish: medium-long, warming, peppery (though more like black pepper on the finish), more subtle ginger, subtle hints of ripe pear, lingering. When I drink this Talisker, I don't want it to end.
Adding a bit of still water (1/2 teaspoon or approx. 2.5 ml) brings out much more smoke on the nose and accentuates the seaweed and dried tobacco aromas. This is sublime. The white pepper is really thrust forward on the palate, developing to a nice, dry, vegetal peat with that ginger still hanging around, albeit further back. This bottle of Talisker is great with or without water.