Whisky Review: Talisker Skye

Category: Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Origin: Talisker Distillery

Bottling: Diageo

ABV: 45.8%

Cost: £40.24 buy from Master of Malt

talisker-skye-whisky

What they say:

Talisker Skye

The Isle of Skye is renowned for its rich, varied landscape – from its soft, serene shores to the dark, jagged peaks of the Cuillin mountains. Talisker Skye is the distillery’s ode to these appealing contrasts, with a smoky sweetness, maritime notes and a spicy edge.

in brief… A compelling Talisker, sweet to start with light smoke, maritime intensity and a big, spicy hit of salt and pepper.

in a sentence… A well-balanced expression of powerful Talisker, capturing all the attractive traits that make this unique island malt unmistakeable in its well-resolved and lively interplay between sweetness, smoke and spice.

Appearance:

Bright 18 carat gold with polished copper lights.

Nose:

Starts gently with the glorious citrus sweetness of fresh oranges, a note which rapidly develops into orange oil and sweet, soft tropical mango. Behind this, there’s a maritime air with fresh seaweed, dry driftwood and sea salt, backed by classic Talisker notes of comforting smoke and a hint of struck match. More spice yields a peppery and slightly earthy nose-feel, like a sweet pepper soup. There’s also a sweet-sharp trace of toffee apple, or chocolate tart with some red berry fruit, then a cleansing note of eucalyptus . Water tames the spice and smoke, but the aroma remains maritime.

Body:

Medium bodied and softly textured.

Palate:

Soft and sweet at first, coating and tongue tingling, with very light smoke. That sweetness quickly becomes more pungent and savoury (salted caramels, honey glazed ribs on a barbecue) with subtle smoke (like a beach bonfire lit in the distance), and a hot spiciness.

Finish:

Drier and of medium-length, with a lasting, smooth aftertaste, in which light peaty burnt embers can be found.

What I say:

Released in 2015, another no age statement expression from the Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye, further bolstering their range of expressions widely available. This expression appears to err on the softer sweeter side of Talisker (hurray!) leaving plenty of room for all its subtleties.

Colour:

Full amber gold (10/20), medium tears leave fine legs

Nose:

Burnt toffee, treacle, molasses, tarry ropes, honey, sugars, yeasty and beery with gristy barley malt, bonfires and cinder toffee

Taste:

Slightly flinty and metallic at first sweet and rich barley malt, hints of pepper and smoke, salt, wood – especially fresh pine and a lemon/lime citrus come through with hints of treacle and cinder toffee adding richness

Finish:

Medium-long, sweet, vanilla ice-cream after peppered steak

Overall:

Hallelujah a Talikser NAS I can get on board with! Maybe still not as great as the standard 10yo but a slightly different perspective of Talisker that preserves all of the intriguing subtleties and almost umami quality that is so hard to put into flavour descriptors. Yes this is lighter and sweeter but all the great Talikser elements are here just in slightly different quantities and for that I actually love it!

Score: 85/100

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