husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Talisker 10


A few years ago, my wife and I decided to go out to celebrate our anniversary.  We went out to a rustic, old-fashioned restaurant in the middle of nowhere.  It was actually near where we got married originally, so it only added to the backdrop of a lovely evening.

Now, although this place appeared as though it was so ancient it could collapse at any moment, it was loaded with charm.  It is also well regarded as having excellent food, and a decent bar.

Not long after we sat down, I ventured over to check out their scotch collection.  It was limited, but one that caught my eye was the Talisker 10.  I had heard about it, but had not tried it yet.  There is just something about having a dram in a musty old restaurant that takes it to another level.  Perhaps it was the overall experience of being in that country restaurant, or celebrating the anniversary, but the Talisker is one of those that I just flat out enjoy…it is just different enough to separate itself from the pack.  I have purchased it a few times since, and as I sit here on a Spring evening, there is not too much left in this bottle...

Where I first tried Talisker 10

It has a golden amber color, and is bottled at around 45.8% ABV.  Talisker is the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, which means that technically it is from the ‘Island’ region, and not Islay.  The first Talisker distillery was built in 1831, and lost to a fire in 1960.  However, it was completely rebuilt with exact replicas of the original stills and they have managed to preserve the unique Talisker flavor.

Tasting Notes

Nose:  You want to take your time with this nose, and savor every moment.  The aromas range from the sea salt and peat smoke (not heavy like an Islay though) to a spicy dagger of cinnamon and spice.  Tucked inside the cocoon of spicy light smoke are pear notes and sweet fruits.

Palate:  Spice, much more aggressive that on the nose.  Subtle sweet smoke mixed with sea spray.  The apples and pears are back again and balanced with the peppery spice.  The Island notes are here too, with a briny undertone.  Nice body, almost like a slightly diluted syrup.

Finish:  Very warming…and a spicy tingle waves goodbye after a lengthy finish.

Being the coastal flavor loving peat-head that I am, I truly enjoy Talisker 10.  Although it should be noted that this whisky is not exactly an introductory dram for a newbie.  It has some new and bold flavors that would be enjoyed by a slightly more experienced drinker that is at the stage where they are desiring something new.  This is a dram for a cold day filled with precipitation…truly one worth getting acquainted with.  An intrepid classic that will have a spot on my shelf for years to come.

Score:  85
Tasting Notes from 2010, 2011, and present

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