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