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Sorry for the title couldn't hold myself. It is hard to review this whisky but i think, as a fan of the Talisker taste, it would be a test to see how honest i could be with my own personal opinion on how well this whisky holds up, independently from my feelings towards it, but also from my tastebuds. As feelings, in whisky, are a matter of taste.
This then is an early 2012 bottling so it's fairly recent, just for the record i score personally the 2006-11 Talisker 10 a solid 93 out of a 100, how much i love it!
Nose: Damp & Pungent Smoke emerges from the glas with peppery vivid (although not quite as vivid as before) from the glass. It stays on course for awhile then sea salt, seaweed & seashores.
Taste: Big Smoke arrives on a warm chariot supported by iodine white & black peppers. The peppers go into a chilli metamorphosis and the feast warms up further. Along comes the peat, even more pungent than on the nose brings with it the iodine and marine qualities.
The pungent marine peatiness holds on with an encore of the sea air/breezes and seaweed this time on a bed of barley sugar and toffee.
Finish: The barley sugar carries the damp/moist peat to the finishing line in a fairly long finish, although not as long as i remember it, less eventful and less... distinct.
The Talisker 10 is still a stable Classic Malt advocate but it has unfortunately lost it's sting over the years. Probably due to the fact that although Diageo know what they are doing when it comes to blends, i think they are still stuck in a with the excellent single malts that they have ( and they have plenty).
Problem is that some brands under Diageo seem to suffer from very sterile and particularely strong chill-filtration, as well as caramel.
As so many have said, including our famous vloger Ralfy, it is fine to chill-filter and caramelize blends or mixing spirits, it's not the same type of spirit and aimed at a different audience entirely. But that also holds for single malts and the whisky enthusiasts who appreciates it like us here on this site. So it's not in anyone's interest to put shackles on an otherwise so competent malt (which the unhinged 57 north testifies well to).
If you want to attract posh people that buy the whisky to show off more than collect/save it or just appreciate it and taste it, then you will always have premium blends for that. Single malts are for people who appreciate it, not necessarily knows everything about them (beware whisky-snobs), but you have to respect it and hone it. That's the purpose of single malts, their different animals for different customers.