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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 18, 2013


Dark Storm and lighter twenty-five

Talisker is slowly becoming Diageo's most 'animated' malt name, while most other distilleries remain very quiet (some would say elegantly self-assured). This year alone, we see the third new NAS expression, namely Dark Storm, which may be to Storm what Double Black is to Johnnie Black. Or not...

Talisker 'Dark Storm' (45.8%, OB, travel retail exclusive, 2013)

Talisker 'Dark Storm' (45.8%, OB, travel retail exclusive, 2013) Four stars This one was matured in charred casks, which has been 'ensuring an inimitable spiciness and distinctive smoky character' according to a high-ranked exec. What, charred oak makes whisky smokier? Let's see... Colour: golden orange. Nose: raw, peaty, almost harsh, pungent, spirity, a little mentholated... Well, its maybe not a whisky for nosing, I wouldn't say it's overly aromatic. Maybe also a little more medicinal than others? Mouth: ah yes, now we're talking. It's probably very young but peat and vanilla combine well here and it's got good oomph and zing. At first it's a rather rounder and creamier expression of young Talisker but it kept the spicy and peaty signature (it's actually very peaty). Don't look for a lot of complexity but balance and character are there in abundance. Finish: good length, with a vanilla that's a little more in the front. A feeling of salted caramel. Comments: I think I like this new one almost as much as I liked Storm. Ah, and no need to spend a lot of time just nosing it! Definitely modern and both spirit and wood-driven. SGP:457 - 86 points.

Talisker 25 yo (45.8%, OB, refill casks, 5,946 bottles, 2011)

Talisker 25 yo (45.8%, OB, refill casks, 5,946 bottles, 2011) Five stars I think this was the first 25yo bottled at Talisker's usual lower strength instead of the previous 'high strength' levels. The last earlier version that we've tried was the 2008 at 54.2%, brilliant stuff (WF 91). Colour: full gold. Nose: a completely different planet after the Dark Storm, this is smoother of course, but also more complex, with some lilac, tangerines, roses, almonds, this very 'tropical' smokiness that only old peaters can display, beauty cream, brine, oysters... It's a lovely nose, delicate and subtle. Mouth: once again, a slightly smoother version of an old Talisker but power is there. It's no straight brute as older versions could be (remember the 62% vol? Or was that the 20yo?) but it's not lacking oomph. Smoked overripe apples and lemon curd plus brine and kippers. There. Finish: long, maybe a notch woodier, with this feeling of strong green tea but also a perfect brine. Little pepper this time. Comments: I know some whisky lovers and Talisker aficionados were shocked by the drop in strength and in theory, I should be shocked too, but let's be honest, this remains a mightily powerful dram. SGP:457 - 90 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Talisker I've tasted so far







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