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Talisker Dark Storm

Peaty, creamy, and not too complex

0 983

@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

15th Feb 2014

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
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Talisker distillery is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye and was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, sons of the local doctor. It was rebuilt between 1880 and 1887, and was extended in 1900. In 1925 the distillery was acquired by the Distillers Company Ltd and today is part of Diageo. In 1972 the stills were converted to steam heating and the maltings floor was demolished. Talisker distillery is famous for its stills’ swan neck lye pipes: A loop in the pipes takes the vapour from the stills to the worm tubs, so that some of the alcohol condenses before it even reaches the cooler; it then runs back into the stills and is distilled again. Dark Storm was released in 2013 as a non-age statement expression exclusively for travel retail. Diageo described it as the smokiest Talisker to date as heavily charred casks were used during the maturation process.

The nose is bold and smoky. Smoked ham is rather prominent, together with lemons and banana. Later on, hints of liquorice and menthol appear.

The palate is medium-bodied, creamy, and lightly spicy. Vanilla flavours come to the fore, followed by caramel and apples. At the end there is a little bit of the ubiquitous chili kick, but just faintly so.

The finish is of medium length, smoky and just a little spicy. Vanilla and caramel are back, together with black pepper and brine.

There is no doubt that the heavily charred casks have contributed significantly to the flavours of this Talisker expression. While this certainly is a heavily peated whisky, it is also unexpectedly creamy and fruity and much less complex than the expressions from the core range. This was nice to try but personally I prefer the more austere versions such as the 18-year old.

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9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@Pierre_W, thanks for a great review. Do you know how long the reviewed bottle has been open? I find that air contact makes a lot of difference in opening up the flavours of many Taliskers.

8 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Hi @Victor, I wrote the review about one month after the bottle had been opened. By that time I had consumed about one fourth. What do you think, good enough?

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

A month would normally be plenty of time to take the measure of a whisky...but in the case of a whisky which doesn't impress you very much, you may often find that further air will lead it to change in ways which you prefer. Sometimes whiskies will show a better face 6, 12, even 18 months later. If I had one that seemed unimpressive to me like this one does to you, I would check in on it maybe once a month or so to see if its flavours move in a good direction. With a long-opened bottle I will frequently decant it to a small air column container once it hits a taste quality which I like.

8 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Thsnks, @Victor, good advice, appreciate it!

8 years ago 0

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

Yet another NAS by Diageo. Only tried the 10yo and the Storm edition thusfar, but these days Clynelish and Talisker are back on my radar. Your notes sound promising, maybe I'll try it out, thanks.

8 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Clynelish is always a good choice in my opinion, @Pandemomium. As for Talisker the 10yo remains one of the best value-for-money single malts out in the market. I also very much like the 18yo as well as the 175th anniversary edition.

8 years ago 0

@Pandemonium
Pandemonium commented

Surprisingly enough, I have very little love for the 10yo Talisker, bought a bottle when I stayed in Scotland, I'm ashamed to admit it, but I ended up mixing it with coke. A faith that even most cheap blends do not deserve. I had a similar experience with the Ardbeg 10yo, but apparently I had the misfortune of encountering a bad bottle. I tried the Storm about three weeks ago and I liked, so I presume that the 10yo that I bought might have been a bad batch, or even a fake.

8 years ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Interesting comment, Pandemonium. The 10yo has never disappointed so far, but then there might be bad batches out there - there always are. I had a 10yo Bowmore from the core range lately: utterly disappointing, whereas I had loved a bottle of the same two years ago. My palate has not changed that much, so it must have been the malt. Hope you'll enjoy your Clynelish.

8 years ago 0

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