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Talisker Skye

Not for a Talisker fan

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@Pierre_WReview by @Pierre_W

14th Jul 2015


Talisker Skye
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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. Skye was released in early 2015 as (another) no age statement expression in the current Talisker range. It has been matured in refill and toasted American oak casks.

The nose starts with medicinal, briny and somewhat ashy notes. These are followed by orange peel, apricots, and marzipan. In contrast to what we are used to with Talisker, this is a fairly soft and well-rounded nose.

The palate is medium-bodied quite spicy and peppery. The smoke is now more prominent, together with sweet flavours of peach and raspberries.

The finish is pleasantly warming, dry and smoky. Towards the end the smoke turns into very ashy flavours.

This is a fruity and fairly well balanced Talisker, and I admit that it might be more approachable than the standard 10-year old, but apart from having created an entry level smoky whisky I am not sure what Diageo wanted to achieve with this. This feels a bit like a low level version of the 10-year old that remains the benchmark that none of the recent NAS releases (Storm, Dark Storm, Port Ruighe, and now Skye) can measure up to. So – in other words – Talisker Skye is good to be tasted once, but probably just once.

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ricko commented

This whisky is a great disappointment. At the nose that makes illusion, we find markers typical of the distillery, but in the mouth it is a disaster , too young , unbalanced , slightly persistent , they bottled only 3 years old or what? The 10 YO is so superior ! (I taste both of them in face to face). This whisky is not more approachable than the 10 Yo, because it's not a good whisky. Other NAS from Talisker are far superior from this poor Skye, especially Dark Storm and Port Ruighe. 75 points for this (because the nose is nice), 90 points for the 10 YO, a classic benchmark for me....

8 years ago 0

Pierre_W commented

Many thanks for your comment, @ricko. I would not call this whisky a disappointment, however I concede that it pales in comparison to the 10yo. I think they found an acceptable balance between smokiness and fruitiness even if the end result is somewhat bland. Welcome to the brave new whisky world.

8 years ago 0

hunggar commented

Thanks, @Pierre_W for another thorough and insightful write-up. It seems to be the consensus lately that all these new NAS Taliskers are about as "ok" as they come, but they do nothing to compliment or improve the brand on the whole. Brave new world indeed.

8 years ago 0

Pierre_W commented

Thanks for your comment, @hunggar. You are quite right, they are ok, but that's about it. Strange that they would create all these NAS versions when they have a prime stallion in their stable, the 10-year old. I wonder whether Talisker sales went up recently?

8 years ago 0

Victor commented

These distillers seem compelled to offer up new products just in order to be 'doing something new' in the busy whisk(e)y marketplace...sort of like legislators or bureaucrats making new restrictive laws and regulations because that is all they know how to do and want to be seen as being productive.

It could also be that the barrels destined for some of these expressions are seen not to fit into the typical 'house style' for the standard range releases. Talisker Skye could originate from some leftover barrels after the distiller/blender had selected the barrels that were to go into the Talisker 10 yo. Of course, there could also be some whisky younger than 10 years old in Skye, as well.

8 years ago 0

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