Talisker is the only distillery that has survived on the island of Skye and will soon celebrate its 200 year birthday. Even though it is often compared to Islay single malts, I find this to be a big mistake as the differences could not be more apparent. Not even the mildly peated whiskies like Caol Ila show any resemblance. If we take a look at the phenol levels, which lie around 18-22, Talisker would be characterized as a moderately peated whisky. However present the smoke and peat is it is well concealed beneath an overwhelming amount of peppery spices and sea salt. Even the alcohols seem to stay in the back giving room for notes of seaweed, white pepper, bitter malt, and a touch of lemon. The finish is short and leaves a bitter and tingling feeling on the tongue. So what do I think about this whisky? Well my expectations may have been too high because I was slightly disappointed and I found it a bit dull.
VERDICT: Definitely interesting if you are into whiskies that are peppery, salty, and very malty. As this is not the case for me I am not currently a fan. Maybe I should give the 18 year old a go!