Friday, September 28, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #165

Talisker 18yo
Island Single Malt Whisky
45.8% abv

Tasted blind by a bunch of whisky folk, this was awarded Best Whisky in the World at The World Whisky Awards 2007. The 30 friends who got together while I was in Toronto to have a tasting a few weeks ago thought it was pretty darn tasty, too. This week we have been reliving that tasting one dram at a time.

Talisker is currently the only distillery on the Isle of Skye and is bottled at the unusual strength of 45.8% by its owners. It has been a part of Diageo's Classic Malts Selection since 1987. When the still house was burnt down in 1960, the distillery fell silent for 2 years. The phenolic content of the malt (peat level) is 25-30 ppm(parts per million). To make relative sense of that, Charlie Maclean has a formulation: 1ppm in a 700ml bottle of whisky is like 10 minutes in 20 years. So what makes more of an impact, 5 hours of the past 20 years of your life or the peat in that dram of Talisker you're drinking right now?

Notes in quotes are from folks at the tasting. All Talisker we've had on the mission can be read HERE.


"Bitter dark chocolate" cinnamon tea, dark rum, vanilla. A little orange zest, creamy bourbon element. Some folks got salt from coastal aromas, others got salt from licorice. "Can I say smoke and cherries? cuz they seem to go together. Sweet smoke." Time brought out more peat and bonfire on the beach-type of aromas.

Gorgeous creaminess, but with an oaky bite up front, green bitternes, raw celery. "Its definitely got that book mustiness"
"Ooo, very sweet. Saccrin and cherry. Once you swallow you get that bitterness. Blunt smoke. Two tones."
Immensely drinkable and full of tasty oak influence. Honey cured ham and toffee. Pepper late in the game.


Delicious, but a bit too sweet for some. For me, the pepper and bitter rootiness helped rein-in the luscious vanilla and bourbon sweetness creating a dangerously drinkable treat. Well-rounded, beautifully crafted stuff. Very fair price, too!

Malt Mission #161
Malt Mission #162
Malt Mission #163
Malt Mission #164

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one delicious whisky. I'm not an expert by any means, but this has so much going for it - smoky and sweet is an excellent combination. Smoked bacon and marmalade sandwiches... mmmmm.

By the way, I enjoy reading about your Malt Mission very much. I've bought some whiskies (hello Glengoyne 17yo) based on your tasting notes, and you've yet to disappoint!