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Talisker 10 Year Old

A Jack of all Trades

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@BARutledgeReview by @BARutledge

13th Mar 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This is a scotch's scotch. It's masculine and refined, like a well groomed beard... Alright, all chauvinism aside, this scotch is a jack-of-all-trades; a special hybrid of various styles of single malt.

Snifter, splash of water

Nose-22: smokey sugary tangerine, oak, suede

Palate-22: mahogany, molasses, raisins, smoke, sweet-peat, shortbread, maple

Finish-21: First wave is a burning rush of smoke, with a hint of lemon. A slight pause... Then comes through a second wave of warmth with a hint of seaweed.

Balance-21: Rugged swings from smoke and leather, to stone, to seaweed, with some sweet characteristics in between each which ties it all together.

As an additional note, this is my go to (if available) when ordering a scotch for someone who does not typically drink much scotch... It provides exciting transitions and flavors, but is politely inoffensive.

Related Talisker reviews


Nozinan commented

I think this is a little too peaty to give to a first timer, but I do like this one quite a bit. I think the extra ABV (less dilution) really helps it, and actually gives it an edge over the lag 16 (oh to taste that at CS).

I have other peated scotches I like better so I don't plan to get a bottle of it, but it's one of the ones I keep on my list of things I'd accept if offered ( there are many I would turn dow), and I won't rule out getting anther 200 cc bottle some day.

5 years ago 0

Lars commented

I have to agree with Nozinan not the first one I would hand to a first timer (I'd save it for myself) but it is a Favorite of mine and is always in my cabinet. If you have a chance try the 18 yr my God that one is on a different level altogether. Skip the Storm and dark Storm drink the ten instead. IMHO you will be better off.

5 years ago 0

BARutledge commented

Thanks Nozinan and Lars. Love the feedback.

Nozinan, it has been awhile since I have had the Lag 16, but I do remember enjoying it quite a bit. My father had a bottle of it that I dug into over the winter holidays a few years ago. It's on my list of bottles with which I would like to reacquaint myself . I do agree that the slightly higher ABV gives Talisker a slight edge. Cask strength I am sure would be quite an experience.

Lars, if I come across the 18 yr I will be sure to give it a try. I am officially on the lookout. Thanks for the tips on the other Taliskers as well

So I must ask, if not Talisker 10yr, then what scotch do you order on behalf of someone who does not drink much scotch?

5 years ago 0

mscottydunc commented

I would start out with a Highland Park 12. Its a well rounded scotch which has a flavour profile that touches on many different tastes and is easy enough to drink that it would not put someone off.

5 years ago 0

Ol_Jas commented

BARutledge, I'm with you on this. You want someone to experience scotch, you give him THE scotch. Talisker 10. It's not the be-all end-all of anything, but it is the most scotchiest of scotches in my book. Everything else can be reckoned from this central point.

5 years ago 0

FMichael commented

Since recently discovering the Glengoyne 12 yr - I'd highly recommend this single malt for anyone who's new to whisky (keep in mind to avoid the 10 yr - nothing special IMHO).

5 years ago 0

BARutledge commented

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Talisker 10yr is a scotchy-scotch, this is true, but what makes it a "jack of all trades" is that it has a plethora of different characteristics that typically would be associated with different regions. It has the leathery, sweet, and fruity-citrus flavors more commonly found in Highlands and Speysides. It also bears the smokey peaty flavors of the Islays, and the salty, stoney, seaweed notes with which Island whisky affiliates itself. Now that this is written out in front of me, it seems as though Tal-10 skipped the Lowlands altogether, so perhaps calling it a jack of MOST trades is more apropos...

Anyways, the transitions from one region's characteristics to the next are not all too smooth. There is a lot going on, and if given to a newbie, then they get a full "scotchy-scotch" experience... One of my new favorite terms... scotchy-scotch. Thanks OlJas!

Mscottydunc, I know HP12 is popular, but I fear it may lack the boldness necessary to hook a future connosr.

FMichael, thanks for the tip on Glengoyne 12. It's the newest addition to my wish list.

Since this post, I have reaquainted myself with Lagavulin 16. Seems to me, that it should be placed in a different category than the Talisker 10, mostly because it has stronger peat and smoke flavors. It seems more inline with whisky from Laphroaig, and Ardbeg, and is thus a bit more in line with my preferences as well.

Thanks again everyone for sharing!

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

Lars commented

Sorry for getting back so late, ones that I have had luck with giving to new whiskey drinkers that I have in my bar would be. Scapa 16, AnCnoc 12, and Auchentoshan 12 yr, Blend wise JW black because they are all quite tasty and not overpowering IMHO.

I have to agree with you on the Lag 16, I have always felt that it was in a different category than the Tali 10. The Tali 10 is a personal favorite and would be quite content to drink that one all the time if I had to.

5 years ago 0

BARutledge commented

Lars, I picked up a bottle of Tali 18y in Boston recently, and it did not disappoint. Also, tried the AnCnoc 12 and found the flavor to be distinct and intriguing. Will keep a look out for a bottle of my own to try to figure out that mystery flavor I could not identify on the spot.

FMichael, I had the opportunity to get either a bottle of the Glengoyne 12 or the Glengoyne Un-chillfiltered Cask Strength at the duty-free store at the Niagra Falls border crossing on the way home from Toronto. I could not help myself and went with the Cask Strength, and although I am quite happy with my purchase, a little part of me still wonders what the Glengoyne 12 is like...

4 years ago 0

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