A bottle of talisker 10 in a field of grass

Review: Talisker 10

After writing my first drambling on this blog about Talisker 10, I figured it’d be high time I gave you my tasting notes on this particular dram as well.

Back in the day, Talisker 10 was actually the first peated scotch I ever had. And it was love at first sight. Back then the only thing that came to mind when taking a sip, was a campfire. I didn’t have the palate yet to discern much more than that. But I always loved that taste and smell of a lingering campfire and how it sticks to your clothes throughout the night, and sometimes even the next day. To get that from a bottle was heaven to me. And it made me foray deeper into smoky scotches, and led me to discovering my favorite whisky category: Peated Islay. But I will never forget that it all started with a dram from the Isle of Skye.

Tasting Notes: Talisker 10

Stats:

ABV: 45,8% (91,6 proof)

Age: 10 years old

Distillery: Talisker Distillery

Owned by: Diageo

Category: Island Single Malt Scotch Whisky (Produced on the isle of Skye)

Awards: San Francisco World Spirits Competition Double Gold 2013, IWSC Gold Outstanding 2013, International Whisky Competition 2nd place 2015, International Spirits Challenge Gold 2014, IWSC Silver 2014 & 2017, World Whisky Awards Bronze 2014.

Chill Filtered: Yes

Natural Colour: No

Setting:

Enjoyed neat, in a Glencairn. After a long day at work, while relaxing in my trusty old laid back chair. Savoring the peace and quiet for a change.

Nose:

Vanilla, melon and honey are found upfront. The peat lingers a bit more in the back for me on this one. But the best thing about the nose is the sea spray, I don’t know many whiskies that remind me more of the shore than this one and it’s that sea smell that marries all parts of the nose together. A drop of water brings forth the melon even more.

Palate:

The sea spray immediately shows up on the palate, only to be washed away quickly by the taste of  pepper and driftwood. Letting it linger in your mouth reveals some lighter fruity notes, noticeably the melon mentioned earlier but also some citrus. The flavor build-up reminds me of crashing waves, very fitting for this dram. Adding a drop of water tames the waves as it were, the dram becomes the calm after the storm. And in the calmness I suddenly notice some honey. I think a drop of water makes this dram a lot prettier, whether you’d want something like that from this dram I’ll leave up to you.

Finish:

The finish is long but I wouldn’t  say it’s the dram’s forte. It’s mainly the harsher tones that linger for me, most noticeably the driftwood on the sides of my palate. There’s some nice lingering fruity tones too, but unfortunately the wood notes are overpowering most of it. Here the drop of water actually helped quite a bit, the driftwood becomes much more tame and almost transforms into a liquorice. This also allows you to taste some honey and melon on the finish.

Verdict:

This is a classic. In my opinion everyone should try it at least once. Maybe it’s not the most refined dram out there, but it sure is an experience. On top of that it’s a reasonably priced bottle. I can regularly find it for around 30 euro’s, and it’s a bottle I always try to keep at hand. It’s also a great starting point for peated whiskies and I think many people could fall in love with the category after being introduced to this dram. If you’re looking to try out Talisker for the first time I’d definitely recommend this 10, bottlings like Skye and Storm have their own charm but this one I consider quintessential.

Rating:

88/100

Value:

A

Do you feel like drambling on about Talisker 10 a bit longer? Grab a seat and have a look at my drambling: Moonlight At Sea. It tells a story inspired by this dram!

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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