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The aroma is rich - peat, smoke, salt and a hint of sweetness. Very warm and inviting, it ought to be easy to extend the life of this dram simply by taking an extra sniff or two between sips but it isn't.
The taste starts with spicy sweetness and a little salt and warms up as the peat and smoke slowly builds. It's like an explosion, only smooth, warm and embracing. So the only problem with having a few extra sniffs between sips, is that the sips are too good.
The finish is warm, dry, full of peat and a hint of spice that leaves the tongue tingling for several minutes.
This isn't necessarily a good whisky to introduce people to single malts with, because although plenty will grok it straight away, it is quite peaty and smoky, and I've found that many people need to be gently guided into appreciating peat and smoke in a whisky. However, this one of the drams that take people from being a casual enjoyer of whisky and turns them into serious whisky buffs. Like the Highland Park 12, if someone knows about whisky, they will know, and enjoy, the Talisker 10 year old.
Personally, I got lucky - this was my third ever single malt, and it was the whisky that made me fall in love with whiskies. A fantastic dram that I will keep replacing on my shelf for as long as they continue making it.
Oh, and props to anyone who gets the 'grok' reference without googling...