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Talisker 10 Year Old

Salt & Pepper

12 1187

@RianCReview by @RianC

22nd Jan 2020


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

So here goes another attempt at writing a review with my tablet. It's painful! Speaking of pain, I had a gammy toe recently that became infected, trench foot my better half called it, and have just finished a course of penicillin. So, for once, i'm drug free and have no heartburn...yeah! The toe is still gammy though, i'm afraid but on the mend.

What better way to celebrate then than with a pour of Talisker? The bottle has been open a few months now and is about half full. Review is neat.

Nose - forgive more flannel but it really feels like a cuddle from a big, burly brute. Sweet, salty, tangy and reminiscent of small fishing ports. There's some big toffee, a nose tickling waft of white pepper, oily rags and a mere hint of something fruity.

Taste - sweet and fruity arrival that becomes more sour. Toffee looms into focus along with some beautifully tangy, twiggy peat and then black pepper starts to dominate. Decent mouth-feel if a little on the thinner side, which is a tad disappointing.

Finish - med to long. This is all about the black pepper but there are some mildly astringent tannins and a residue of the toffee that came before.

Worth noting that this was a touch more enjoyable when first opened but air has kind of flattened off some of the sharper edges that make this malt what it is. Either way, this is a classic for a reason and it still gives me an elemental delight every time I pour a glass. A wonderful alternative to big Islay malts and I have to say that the overall profile is very much to my liking.

Mark would be 1-2 points higher when first opened.

Related Talisker reviews


OdysseusUnbound commented

Nice review. I’ve read a lot about batch variation with this one in recent years. I’ve been fortunate and have always hit good bottles of Talisker. When Talisker is good, it’s really good. This one sounds like an above-average bottle when it was first opened. Do you gas your whiskies once they’re open?

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

Victor commented

Interesting that your bottle flattened with time. Mine showed nothing whatsoever but salt and pepper for 7 months and then it came alive with depth and increased nuances from peat.

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

BlueNote commented

I've never been disappointed in Talisker 10. For me it's a consistent 89-90 pointer. I haven't noticed that flattening after opening, but then it's never around for long at my house.

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

Hewie commented

Nicely done, Sir. I love the descriptor "reminiscent of small fishing ports". I think Talisker 10 was my first review I ever did (and on here) and it reminded me of tall sailing ships - tarred ropes, teak decks, and all encrusted in salt. I must get another bottle - my last just got better and better as it sat open for a year or so.

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

I have a bottle, opened more than two years ago. It now sits 2/3 full and has rounded out nicely. It has maintained its peppery flare and picked up toffee notes, I love that toffee @RianC. Peaty sharpness combined with toffee sweetness has created a highly desirous Talisker. I'm tempted to open and "bottle age" another Talisker 10 YO.

4 years ago 5Who liked this?

RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound No, I don't gas but rarely have a bottle open for more than a year and I finish them off quickly when they get down to the last 100ml or so. The ScotchTest Dummies just did a vlog on gassing effects, very interesting to see their findings after a couple of years.

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Victor @Hewie - interestingly, the Tali 18 I have 'dipped' a little in the middle but came good again nearer the end. I'll watch this one keenly. Could well just be my taste buds not being 100% or lack of practice?!

4 years ago 4Who liked this?

RianC commented

@paddockjudge - yeah the toffee and peat combo is right up my alley!

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

This review corresponds to a lot of the feelings I have about Talisker 10. My experience is that the phenolic elements are at their best when the bottle is freshly opened. It's still enjoyable later but that slightly grimy aspect is a joy.

Nice review!

4 years ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

@RianC what did the scotch test dummies conclude on gassing? I tend to gas my more prized bottles once I hit the halfway point. But often wonder if I'm wasting my time?

4 years ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Wierdo - In short, after two years they preferred the non-gassed samples over the gassed ones. Laph 10 was an exception, but not by much, and you'd probably expect that with peaty whiskys.

They found little difference after a year or that they were worse?!

4 years ago 1Who liked this?

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