Whisky Connosr

Talisker Dark Storm

Choice of Glass Cognitive Dissonance

7 889

@VictorReview by @Victor

26th Jul 2018


Talisker Dark Storm
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Talisker Dark Storm is matured in "heavily charred casks", possesses no age statement, and is sold in Travel Retail/Duty Free stores. The reviewed bottle is owned by @Maddie. Thank you @Maddie for this sample and many others. It was tasted when freshly opened and then again 3 weeks later

Nose: a delightful nose of moderate peat, a little smoke, some Talisker brine, and maybe a little wine included. Also wonderful with water added. Score: 23.5/25 with and without water added

Taste: all of the flavours are more sharp-edged in the mouth than in the nose; otherwise a good translation of the wonderful nose flavours. If there is some sherry here it is not immaculate, but is of acceptable quality. Water added bundled the flavours. Score: 22/25 with and and without water

Finish: long slow fade-out, with too much bitterness arriving late.This bitterness could be coming from any combination of peat, wood, or sherry. Water added lessened the bitterness. Score: 20/25 neat; 21.5/25 with water added

Balance: very good in the nose; good on the delivery; only fair on the finish; 21.5/25 neat; 22/25 with water added; 22.5 out of a brandy snifter rather than a glencairn

Total Sequential Score: 89 points


Strength: very strong in all phases (from a brandy snifter). Score: 23/25

Quality: very good malt, peat, and smoke; flawed sherry. Score: 22/25

Variety: lots of variety throughout. Score: 23/25

Harmony: works even with imperfect sherry; I liked it much better in a brandy snifter than in a Glencairn glass. Score: 21.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 89.5 points


Comment: Wow! My two tastings of this whisky were quite a trip. I have experienced EXTREME variations before in tasting Talisker 57 North from different glass designs, but I was still unprepared for the experience of tasting this whisky twice 3 weeks apart in duration, from different glasses. When the bottle was freshly opened I drank it from a brandy snifter, and loved it much above typical review scores for this particular whisky. My initial score was 92 points. Three weeks later I tasted it again and many things had gone wrong. Was this merely the product of 3 weeks of air time? Then I thought about changing glasses, and I once again liked Dark Storm much more than I did out of a Glencairn glass. Drinking it again a second time out of a medium-sized brandy snifter I like Dark Storm almost as much as I had at first. So, reader be advised: this is an 89 point whisky to me out of a brandy snifter, but only an 85 point whisky for me out of a Glencairn! I will drink all future samples of Talisker Dark Storm from a snifter

And yes, I do prefer Talisker Dark Storm to Talisker Storm, though Storm is perfectly OK too

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Hewie commented

Thanks for your thoughtful review and intriguing too the significant difference between glass types. I tried this for the first time last week, although I seem less impressed than you were. I found it lacking the punch of flavours that I had come to love in the standard 10 bottling. Maybe I should revisit it with a brandy snifter.

5 years ago 0

Victor commented

@Hewie, thank you for joining in. Actually I think that 85 points for my tasting of Dark Storm out of a Glencairn glass might have been a little generous, influenced by how much I liked Dark Storm when tasted in the snifters.

The difference in experience of both nose and palate for whiskies out of different types of tasting glasses is something that has to be experienced to be fully believed. I would most certainly not in advance have believed the experiences which I have had tasting the same whiskies side by side in different glassware. In some cases, like complex high ABV whiskies and high power Taliskers, large differences can be found between a Glencairn and a snifter. Some glasses, such as the NEAT glass and the Norlan glass, are quite out of the normal perceptual range for almost any tasting purpose, i.e. they narrow the range and lessen the intensity of flavours available to be perceived. The new fad glasses are usually designed to cut down alcohol in the nose and in so doing cut down everything else along with it.

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

casualtorture commented

Those Norlan glasses are quite expensive too compared with glencairn and snifters.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

Nice review, I had the opportunity to try this whisky from a friends bottle, I had a substanial dram but this is only my first impression.It was nice but I found it kind pushed the more maritime, briny and phenolic elements to the fore and it had less of that interplay between the pepper and sweetness that I like in the 10yr old (I know you have a spotty history with the 10 @Victor ), in sum I found it shadowed what makes Talisker unique. My friend half in jest said "it's as if the Lagavulin-ized my Talisker", we had a good laugh at that but it was a pretty apt description.

The choice of glass is always a fun experiment, I had wild turkey 101 this week both in a Canadian and traditional Glencairn, the former exhibited complex wood, almost cedar and floral like notes which were totally absent from the latter.

I have tried those Norlan glasses a few times and while they look nice and they occasionally offer an interesting performance on the nose they are horrible to drink from, the edge is really thick and makes for an unpleasant experience when drinking, you often just spill whisky down your front.

5 years ago 4Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@cricklewood, if you are spilling whisky down the front, might I suggest more practice brother wink

5 years ago 2Who liked this?

Victor commented

@cricklewood, a friend gave me a pair of Norlan glasses, so I've had occasion to try them out quite a few times. I like them best for BEER! Beer looks great in them.

As for awkwardness with the lips, man, try the NEAT glass if you want the world-beater awkward-on-your-lips experience.

And, @cricklewood, yes, my experience with tastes from various bottles of Talisker 10 yo is so all-over-the-place that, in my experience, I would rate Talisker 10 yo third only to Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 and standard Jameson for inconsistency. Obviously, many have been much luckier with Talisker 10 yo than I have. I do hope that every future bottle of Talisker 10 yo ever made is supremely wonderful. I have had some of it that was that way too.

5 years ago 0

cricklewood commented

@Victor, glad you didn't have to pay for those Norlans...pricey and not that useful for whisky as can be attested.

I had the occasion to try drinking water from a neat glass and it was indeed an awkward experience.

@paddockjudge Perhaps I've just sprung a leak laughing

5 years ago 0

MadSingleMalt commented

I ditched all my snifters a couple years ago when I moved, and I kinda worry that the switch to only a glencairn has been a loss.

In my memory, whisky out of my old snifters was always a rich & full experience. But, that was also old whiskies in my old house in my old life.

Today, I gotta admit that most whiskies I drink from my glencairn are pretty great but nothing special.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?