Whisky Connosr

Talisker Storm

Decent, but over-hyped...

0 1684

@hunggarReview by @hunggar

10th Apr 2015

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Talisker Storm
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
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We’ve got the “Storm” here, a bottling that seems to be positioning itself as an alternative to Talisker 10. Talisker’s own rejuvenated and refill barrels have been used to accentuate the brand’s house style. The end result should be a very Talisker-y Talisker, which sounds promising.

Nose: Very Talisker indeed, with sweet peat, minerals, limestone, lilac, banana, nuts, butter, lemon lozenges, and brine.

Palate: Perhaps a bit thicker and oilier than the 10. Honey, minerals, gentle peat, caramelized onion, brine, butter, and lilac.

Finish: Medium in length and as coastal as they come. Lots of brine, peat, almonds, minerals, oysters, charcoal, honey, earth, and ash, and heather.

Thoughts: You can pick apart the differences, but this is a similar enough profile to the 10 year old. Admittedly it’s much saltier, slightly peatier, and has a different texture. But it also has a flatter finish and less depth of flavour. I consider the 10 to be a benchmark for Talisker, one that often outshines its fancier, more expensive siblings. But at least with the DE’s or Port Ruighe you get a finish, with the 57 North you get abv, and with aged releases there’s, well… age. This doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the table. I get that with these particular casks they’re highlighting the house style, but I thought the 10 year old was doing a good job of that already.

Also, reusing and rejuvenating their own casks and releasing a NAS whisky with a heftier price tag than the 10 seems rather dubious to me. Is using younger stock and needing fewer new barrels more expensive than the cost of aging something for 10 years? Here in Taiwan the Storm is about $20 more expensive than the 10, which is far too much.

Then again maybe I’m getting too critical here. It’s still a drinkable and enjoyable whisky. And yes, it’s very Talisker-y. I’d buy this again if the price were reasonable.

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16 comments

@MaltActivist
MaltActivist commented

@hunggar my thoughts exactly. Though it has grown on me a bit since I first opened it. Not sure what was the direction they were intending to take.

about one year ago 0

ricko commented

Totally agree with you hunngar. The 10 YO is a marvelous whisky for the price, far better and cheaper than the Storm. Rumors say that Talisker soon would stop the 10, and replace it by a new NAS version (one more !!) named "Skye". I hope that it's wrong !

about one year ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@MaltActivist, "Not sure what direction they were intending to take." Very well said. As decent as this is, I consider this release to be rather unnecessary, for lack of a better word.

@ricko, I've heard about the new Skye release, but I haven't heard about Diageo pulling the 10. I sincerely hope you're wrong about that!

about one year ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael commented

Must agree with you guys...The 'Storm' is a nice whisky, but I too prefer the 10 yr expression, and yes - I heard about the new NAS 'Skye', but was unaware of Diageo's plans on scrapping the 10 yr in favor of the 'Skye'.

about one year ago 0

@Lars
Lars commented

The 10 yr as you said is the benchmark. I have tried the Storm and the Dark Storm and found them to be lacking esp when you consider that they are $20 more here. They will not be getting anymore of my cash for these bottles.

Talked to my local MLCC rep he stated that Diageo has been doing alot of restructuring of its workforce and put projects on hold as their market share decreases. They have stated that they will not discontinue the 10 yr but really that might just be the party line.

It will be a sad day for me if the 10yr is discontinued.

about one year ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

I tried this at a tasting and was thoroughly unimpressed. Just not much there, as a I recall.

It's a like when a band covers a good song in the same style as the original but no better. Totally dispensible.

As to price, let us not fall into the trap of thinking that costs drive prices. Rather, prices are just the most that the seller thinks he can get for it. Diageo thinks they can get more for this than they can for the 10. It might be more expensive to make; it's probably less. But either way, that's irrelevant.

If they do discontinue the 10, I'm sure there will be some serious bunkering going on.

about one year ago 0

Jonathan commented

I found the Storm to be quite bitter, and I really had to struggle to find the notes that I usually love in Talker. The Dark Storm, as I remember, was very good--but also closer to an Islay malt. I also hope that they won't discontinue the 10!

about one year ago 0

@Pierre_W
Pierre_W commented

Mostly sgree with the above comments. Neither 'Storm' nor 'Dark Storm' come close to the 10-year old. All in all, Talisker's recent NAS releases have been quite disappointing.

about one year ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

For anyone interested in jumping to conclusions based on flimsy evidence, I offer this: I was just in one my area's better liquor stores, and they're currently stocking the Storm, the 18 YO, and the Distiller's Edition.

No 10 YO. Discuss.

about one year ago 0

@AndyC
AndyC commented

I think that the storm does have a place in this line-up. It is a bit young tasting, but is also more peated and briny than the 10 yr, which makes it quite different.

I would never pay the full asking price for it though, but it is frequently on offer around my neck of the woods for around £30.

However, I would also agree that I would take the 10 yr over this if I had none of either and they were the same price, or even if the 10 yr was a bit more. Young peated whiskies can often take an overly-salty route to cover things up a bit i think. The Conemara standard edition even more so than this Talisker (although Storm is much better than this).

about one year ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael commented

@ OlJas - With us both being 'Cheeseheads' - I'll keep my eyes open for this change as well here in the Milwaukee area.

It'll be a sad day if Diageo ends up removing the 10 yr Talisker from it's line up...Maybe a boycott is warranted in such a case.

about one year ago 0

@Ol_Jas
Ol_Jas commented

@FMichael, you could probably tell I was mostly having a bit of fun there. I think all the main stores (so that's Woodmans for the Madison area) are still stocking the usual amounts of 10 YO at the usual high prices.

The store where it was conspicuously lacking: Steve's on McKey.

about one year ago 0

@FMichael
FMichael commented

@ OlJas - Truth be told I took your post seriously since I'm at times incapable of reading thru sarcasm/humor...lol

about one year ago 0

@Lars
Lars commented

@OlJas, I'm jealous you have the Tali 18 yr stocked!! I wish, I have to get my inlaws to bring over a couple each time they leave the county on a trip.

about one year ago 0

@mct
mct commented

A big boo for NAS whisky... Might as well just slap on the "VSOP" label! :/

8 months ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

Just tried the Storm on the weekend for the first time. Meh, it's nice (and Ontario has the 'relative' pricing correct...Can$10 less than the 10 yo) but I would rather still buy the 10 due to its additional flavours and depth.

Diageo is likely losing marketshare because they have bumped up the pricing on their bottles by a ridiculous amount over the past 5 years (e.g. Talisker 10 has gone up 43% in that time, in Ontario) to the point that I don't know if I will ever bother buying a full bottle of Talisker 10 (Ardbeg 10 is the same overinflated price in these parts, though it has been relatively steady over the same time frame).

8 months ago 0