November 21, 2010
While not as overtly peat-heavy as an Islay malt, Talisker’s peat provides a background of earthiness that matches its rocky flavors. As this is one of the more complex of whiskies, it may take some getting used to. Once you can appreciate it, though, nothing beats Talisker for relief at the end of a hard day.
Color: Golden orange
Nose: Sea air, seaweed, brine, a hint of blood orange.
Palate: Hard and rocky, evoking sea cliffs and tumbling waterfalls. Rock candy. There is a shadow of heather in the middle notes, and a solid background of peat (but not smoke). Very earthy and mineral. The body is firm, a touch oily, and a little creamy, but the mineral flavors contrast starkly. Intricate, complex, evolving.
Finish: Long, warming and citrusy, with previously hidden notes of marshmallow, moss, chalk, lemon, white pepper, and orange peel.
Adding a dash of water opened up some of the warmer floral scents, but seems to mask the coastal notes. I prefer it neat. 007 wouldn’t have added any water, why should I?
Talisker is a dram to brood over. Like Ian Fleming’s Bond, it is edgy, steely, and mysterious. It punches you in the face and then lulls you into submission. There is nothing else quite like it.