This is where I’ll write about drinks that I enjoy and find interesting enough to tell you about. My aim is that this page evolves to contain the drinks that I love and drink on a regular basis.
I am not an expert in wine, whisky or any other drinks but I enjoy tasting new things and discovering drinks that have real depth of flavour. There are numerous blogs, books and websites dedicated to professional drinks reviews but not all of us have the same needs and tastes as people who attend blind tastings every week. Whilst the recommendations of an expert taster on a £300 single cask bottle of scotch may be interesting to read (or may not be), my hope is if you like the sound of something on this page, you can pick it up from a good supermarket or easily online.
I try to avoid reading other people’s tasting notes until after noting my own and my reviews are based on several sessions to allow me to get used to the taste and make my mind up.
As ever, please let me know if you agree, disagree, found this interesting or aweful in the comments section below!
Talisker 10 Year Old Whisky
This is a single malt whisky from the Isle of Skye. Talisker is the only distillery on Skye, although some sources say another is planned. This particular offering is from the bottom end of their range and is freely available in most supermarkets. I recently bought a half bottle from Waitrose for £11 and you can currently get a full bottle on Amazon for £25. I am drinking this neat at room temperature. To look at it’s not too dark, a golden buttery colour in the glass. The fragrance is huge, after a minute in the glass whilst admiring its colour the room was filled with a fresh warm slightly briney fragrance. Directly on the nose its warm and woodsy with sandlewood, pepper and nutmeg.
On the palate it is of medium body; the taste is initially warm caramel and butter but after a few seconds the dryness and the smoke kicks in. For me this isn’t overly peaty and there is enough big warmth there to round it out. Its fairly dry but there is a tinge of caramel and sultanas that brings balance to the other flavours.
The aftertaste is by far the best bit and where it really comes alive. It goes on and on and continues to evolve. This is where the sea really kicks in. Once swallowed you are left with smoke, heather and the sea with a lingering warm peppery note.
There is a real complexity of character here that you only get from a single malt, easily as complex as a fine wine. However, this isle scotch has a controlled smokiness that would make a good starting point for those starting to explore these tastes. This is too complex a drink for mixing and I would suggest drinking neat, with a little water (or ice if you wish). I wouldn’t rush to drink this with food but works very well as a digestive. It is a drink to be contemplated, with some quiet conversation or a good book.
Comparing my thoughts to what other (much more experienced) whisky tasters have written, the taste profile is fairly similar. Several have commented on a sweetness and the citrus taste that I didn’t pick up on (this may be in comparison to the bourbons and dark rums I’ve been drinking recently). The salty briney edge is widely described and reflected on Talisker’s branding. Whiskymate in particular writes a very nice review with a lot more background into the distiller and the makeup of the whisky. The-whiskey-jug is also a good place to get advice and reliable reviews.
Overall this is a cracking whisky, and significantly more interesting to drink than many in this reasonable price bracket. Let me know if you’ve tried it?