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Drink Review: Talisker 10 Year Old

A massive success as the island representative in Diageo’s ‘Classic Malts’ series, Talisker 10yo’s profile keeps increasing as more fans discover its intense coastal spicy, peaty character. A truly elemental malt.

Talisker 10 Year Review:

Talisker 10 year old is one of the few decent scotches I’ve come across in recent times.

Pure ocean flavour with a tinge of sherry that’s almost perfect. This has that genuine sea dog all-day-drinking ability. So if you’re after that distinctive malted watery-ness, this tries to nail it. There is honestly nothing to dislike about it – talk about a whisky that’s pretty perfect in every way. That slightly graininess will be a passable replacement for Coca Cola.

The crowd-pleaser is certainly rugged here with a dry finish and body which is one of the most intense and pungent I’ve ever enjoyed – it smells as good as it tastes.

The Talisker is absolutely correct in everything it’s own man. This is as close to a quintessentially-British scotch as you could wish for and there is a dryness that completely hits the spot to boot. It is nice and gulpable for what it is – which is a dram to sip on after a hard day’s work. It is one of the strongest in the series of ‘Classic Malts’. Expect its profile to be a blend of toasted barley and peaty, smokeygoodness.The crowd-pleaser is certainly rugged here with a dry finish and body which is one of the most intense and pungent I’ve ever enjoyed – it smells as good as it tastes.

Usually a blend of 7 of the worlds finest scotches, this was barrel-proofed and twice matured in French oak for a full decade, hence the name ‘Talisker’. Very light on its feet, austere and with that very light coconut remark – it’s a shy little scotch. Maybe too much smoke on the nose, it reminds me of a rough environment, like someone has been thorough about their housekeeping – landlady/child-minder in a one-bedroom flat with big, black sooty curtains.

This is a classic whisky lesson in malt – beyond the creamy smoke, and peaty, sweet sea air, you are rewarded with a really decent, fresh, light monotony. This is a whisky that refuses to bring to attention its strength, but it is strong, and will go great with your breakfast, or even your lunch.

The Talisker 10 is a pure vessel for marine life in one’s early twenties (a guy in his mid twenties is likely to be a crafty sailor, like me). It also goes down extremely well with scallops.

If the island representative was meant to be trying to be a wee bit like the real thing, then this Talisker 10 year old is very successful.

It is a malt that takes in the coastal areas, the sea-spray on the far-off islands, its raw power and flavour. If you are expecting honeyed luxuriousness you will be disappointed. However, if you are after a lightweight, illicit, wild, uncut, uncompromised spirit, then you should be quite happy with this.

It is very Balwhidder, it would be like buying a pint of Boddingtons back down the road from your flat in your under-twenties – just because it is much cheaper than the one you usually buy. In fact I have a feeling that this is about a generation of spirits behind Balwhidder.

This is how I would have expected this version of (the less commonly-tasted) Talisker to be – honest. Rough-and-tumble. On-the-water shipwreck vitality, created from grain-derived malt, it feels like the most natural north coast whisky in the Diageo range.

It is completely natural, a perfectly faithful whiskey, the embodiment of how the free-spirited inhabitants of the Western Highlands would be drinking and enjoying their whisky – and that is what the Classic malts are about.

Talisker 10 Year Review:

The Talisker 10 year is probably the jewel in the crown of the tasting of the Classic malts, it has fairly little competition and will divide opinion.

This does however smell of waves and sea, and is a fairly gulpable whisky. There is a slight sweetness that is very typical of this type of whisky, it is a relatively mild whisky which senses of sea salt and sea air and takes itself very seriously. This Talisker is a proper whisky and is as close as it is going to get to the real thing.

Written by Mark Adams

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