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Talisker 18 Year Old

Skye's the limit

5 985

WReview by @Wierdo

24th Jun 2020

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    85

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

This review is from a sample kindly donated by @RianC. I've had a couple of bottles of Tali 18 in the past. But it's been at least 5 years so this sample is greatly appreciated!

I let this sit 20 minutes after pouring. I tried it neat at first and then with a few drops of water. It was better neat.

Nose

Peat. But not your standard iodine peat. More mossy. A sweet caramel note and toffee (werthers originals) a hint of pepper

Palate

Quite a thin mouthfeel. I'd say this has been fairly substantially chill filtered (which is a shame). Mineral on arrival with that mossy peat in the development. The sweetness on the nose isn’t present on the palate.

Finish

Long finish with lots of the trademark Talisker pepper and tanins at the death.

I have a bit of a strange relationship with Talisker. I feel like I should have more love for it than I do. The best Talisker I've ever had was the sample of the cask strength 8 year old also donated by @RianC. That was a fantastic whisky. The 10 is Ok but has never made it onto my list of 'must have a bottle in the stash' drams. I loved the first bottle of the 18 I had. The second bottle I was less enthused by. This is more inline with the last bottle of the 18 I had. It's not a bad dram by any measure. It scratches both the 'coastal' and the 'peated' itch. But it just seems to lack a little complexity. I was considering picking up a bottle. But I'm on a budget and have to make tough decisions and this dram has made me think I would probably get better value spending the cash on something else.

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9 comments

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Wierdo I'm surprised to hear that this one might not be what it used to be. The last time I had it was 2013. I bought it at the distillery and it was outstanding. Things change in the whisky world, and not always for the better.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Like other Taliskers, Talisker 18 yo sometimes will not come into its own until it has had a few months of open bottle air time. I had a 200 ml first bottle of Talisker 18 yo which was so "meh" that I passed up some early opportunities to buy 750s for $ 50 per. That 200 ml bottle got much better. Later, when I had the unexpected chance once again, in 2011, I picked up 8 bottles of Talisker 18 yo at under $ 50 total each. That 200 ml bottle threw me off at first. Now, if a Talisker is a bit so-so, I just give it a lot of air, and it will generally improve with time. I've seen the same phenomenon with Talisker 57 Degrees North, which is my go-to Talisker.

2 months ago 6Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Victor That is reassuring. Sad to say, it's closer to $200 than $50 these days. I was tempted last time I was in Oregon at $165, but passed in favour of a DE, an Ardbeg 10 and a Clynelish 14. Pretty much 3 for the price of one. If I do happen to see it at a decent price I will absolutely grab it.

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@Victor I would love to get my hands on a bottle or two of Talisker 57 North. I have a bottle of Talisker 18, but I haven’t opened it yet....

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

@OdysseusUnbound as I expect that you know, Talisker 57 Degrees North is not sold in the USA. I got my first 700 ml bottle hand-carried to me from England by a business associate of a relative of mine. All of my other bottles, each 1 Litre, I got through automobile duty-free at the Ontario border, on the way into the US. They seem to stock them in the May/June time frame each year. The prices at the Travel Retail when I purchased them were, no kidding, about 24.8% what the LCBO was charging at the time. I think I paid $ 62 CAD for 1 Litre, when the LCBO was charging $ 175 CAD for 700 ml. $ 62 per Litre, compared to $ 250 per Litre.

If I owned only one Talisker, 57 Degrees North is my choice. 57 North for Talisker is for me as Rare Breed for Wild Turkey is for me. It is a close choice compared to the 18 yo Talisker, but I am a high proof guy, and that's the way I will usually go.

2 months ago 3Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

To be fair this Talisker 18 may not have been that lackluster. It's always difficult judging a whisky like this when it's been cooped up in a 50ml sample bottle for months. Probably should have left it in the glass an hour.

Also it may just be me. As I mentioned in the review. I've just never warmed to Talisker. Other than that 8CS sample I had from @RianC which I thought was great and a bottle of the 18 I had 10 years ago I really enjoyed. The rest of my experiences of this distillery have been meh.

Being a big fan of the likes of Springbank and Lagavulin I feel like I should really enjoy Talisker but I don't. I just think I'm not a fan.

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

@RianC
RianC commented

@Wierdo you would probably like 57 North. This was definitely not as good as the first bottle I had. I have two in the stash and am not in a rush to add any more - this was the latest of the bottles, if you get me?

2 months ago 1Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

From the comments it seems I'll defintely have to try 57 degrees North!

2 months ago 2Who liked this?

@BlueNote
BlueNote commented

@Wierdo That's the one to go for, for sure. It's like the 10 with a stick of dynamite stuck up its arse. stuck_out_tongue

2 months ago 0

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