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Talisker 10 Year Old

Divine warmth

0 2090

@jdcookReview by @jdcook

14th Oct 2009

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    22
  • Overall
    90

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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...

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20 comments

@galg
galg commented

i agree with u old chap. this is indeed an amazing malt. the peat is not so strong as in the Islays, it's more a smokey thing. whiffs of smoke and sweet peppery finish. cracking dram. this was my 5 th bottle in the bar, and i still like it so much, it's maybe in my top 5. try eating a 70% chocolate or more with a wee dram of the talisker, and you will get new flavors. the chocolate does wonders. i was amazed at how good the combo is.

u guys in the isle of skye, pls continue making this wonder as long as u can. it rocks. Gal.

10 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc commented

I have to say that this is my favourite too. I try to be as impartial as possible but I keep coming back to Talisker 10 time and time again.

10 years ago 0

@WhiskyOClock
WhiskyOClock commented

I fell into the category of trying this one too early (along with HP12). The smoke with the spicy & salty zing was just a bit to much too soon. Now that I take great pleasure from the big Islay whiskies (like Ardbeg & Laph) I want to give it another try. Unfortunately the list of "want to try" has become so long I can't ever seem to make it across the checkout counter with a bottle of Talisker!

10 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

JDCook, that's a wonderful and helpful review.

I've had Talisker in the first year that I was exploring drams, now 5 years ago. It was indeed to strong for me and it scared me away. That's why I got into Irish whiskeys and have only tried Scotch on few occassions. Reading this makes me want to reconsider.

I've reconsidered. Talisker 10yrs is now on the (ever expanding) X-mas list. Good god, man, my wife will think me an alcoholic when she gets my list!

And no, I didn't get the 'grok' reference, but seeing as I'm a Belgian an thus not a native speaker, I'm excused, right? Off to Google, I am!

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@galg - I'll have to try the 70% chocolate - the combination intrigues me. Mind you, now that you have put it in my head, it might work with a few others...

@WhiskyOClock - Definitely recommend the Talisker now that you have gotten used to the big Islay malts. It is truly a fantastic drink, nd for those days where you don't quite want the power of an Islay malt, but you aren't also in the mood for the non-peated whiskies, the Talisker really hits the spot.

@markjedi - Don't sweat the 'grok' reference too much - you have to be a real science fiction nerd to get it. That said, it is one of the most useful made-up words ever...

10 years ago 0

@cintain
cintain commented

Even though it was one of the first single malts I tried, it became my favourite. The whole experience was so enchanting, and the taste so uniquely different from anything I'd ever had... Like you, I'll continue replacing it for as long as I can get my hands on it. Oh, and "grok" is from Robert Heinlein's "Stranger in a Strange Land" IIRC. It's been a while, and it brought back some other fond memories... Slainte.

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@cintain - you do recall correctly and the points go to you

10 years ago 0

@galg
galg commented

jdcook, let me know what other chocolate pairing u tried, and which went well. i am open to new ideas :) slainte

10 years ago 0

@benellefsen
benellefsen commented

Whisky and Cheese - that's a cracking flavour experience.

Stilton goes incredibly well with Talisker 10 - give it a go...

10 years ago 0

@jeanluc
jeanluc commented

Completely agree; I love pairing whisky with the saltier cheeses like Roquefort. Especially the sweeter sherry cask options.

10 years ago 0

@666ppm
666ppm commented

Excellent review. Talisker is really something very special among single malt whiskys

10 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

Incidentally, coming back to this, I realised that I told a white lie - this was my 4th ever malt, I went Glenfiddich 12, Glenfiddich 15, Lagavulin 16, then this fine dram.

10 years ago 0

@jwise
jwise commented

Wow! You went from "so smooth it is boring" to "decent flavor profile without any startling bold flavors" to "HOLY COW, what is this explosion in my mouth, someone call the fire department because there is a FIRE in my belly!" to Talisker 10yr. What a whisky trip!

I had my first taste of Talisker at a cigar bar one night. It was very good. Every time I am in the package store, I look at Talisker, but have never bought it. Well, the other day I could resist no longer! For the Christmas season, they had a gift box set of three 20cl bottles: 10yr, Distiller's Edition, and the 18yr, all for $50! That's basically the same price as the 10yr on the shelf (per cl). I am anxiously waiting to crack these babies open and taste them!

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

I've had both the 10 yr and the 18 yr (which is basically grown up 10 year old on steroids - it is fantastic), but I've not had the distillers edition - you'll have to review it so the rest of us can live vicariously through you!

9 years ago 0

@The_Mudshark
The_Mudshark commented

This was the second whisky I ever bought a bottle of and I loved it. Such intense flavour, yet so drinkable. I couldnĀ“t believe how fast the bottle went empty and replaced it immediately.

9 years ago 0

Peatpete commented

This is one that I need to try again. I was disapointed with the blandness of this when I had a bottle, but it was the fourth bottle I owned, the three before it being Lagavulin 16, Laphroaig Quater Cask, and Ardbeg 10.... In the year or so since then I have managed to broaden my tastes away from "More peat = better" (thats now the guidline, not the rule...) so maybe I would actualy appreciate this now.

9 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@The_Mudshark - this is indeed a very fine whisky, and goes down very quickly.

@Peatpete - compared to big Islays this is a little less wild and woolly, but if you have broadened somewhat since your big beefy start, this will certainly go down nicely!

9 years ago 0

mattatec commented

My mum lives on Skye so maybe I'm biased, but it really is a great drop. It's the wild and almost unrefined nature of the whisky that matches the island so well that wins it for me.

8 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

@mattatec - How often do you visit? I my mother lived there I would be visiting all the time - it is a great drop!

8 years ago 0

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