21. 6. 2016.

Talisker 10 - campfire on the ocean shore

Talisker is the only distillery on the island of Skye. This island is located in the north of Scotland, its coast being splashed by the Atlantic Ocean, and it belongs to the Inner Hebrides. Those islands are the photogenic ones known for their rocky cliffs that descend steeply into the ocean. In this distillery, whisky has been produced since 1830. when it carried out triple distillation and continued with it until 1928. when it exceeds the more common, double distillation.

Scotch whiskeys which originate from the islands almost always fall into one with strong notes of phenol, a segment of flavour that is expressed through ppm (phenol parts per million). Talisker, which has 18-22 ppm, is a medium phenolic whisky. We promised that we shall ask chemistry to help us only when we really need to, so the translation of this term phenolic would be: salty, mineral taste and smell, with the addition of smoke. But not any kind of smoke - during the production of this whisky, malt has been dried by the peat fire, so the smoke that has been absorbed through this process is carried to our glasses. Hence, this is the aroma which makes this type of whisky different from other malts. If I need to give this whiskey a particular colouring, it would be a green-blue-grey hue, nuance imbued with grass, lichen-covered rocks and the sparkling ocean. This ten-year-old single malt whisky contains 45.8% alcohol and has a complex character, which I shall attempt to deconstruct here.

Nose: Peat, ripe yellow fruits and honey.
Flavour: Bourbon, figs, and slightly herbal character. But for how long does this aftertaste last? It lingers on the palate for good ten seconds. Bourbon note belongs here probably due to the barrels in which this whisky matures. Towards the end, there is black pepper, some basil, and oak. 
It is advisable to add a small splash of water (but not ice) in order to unlock additional levels of taste and to extend the enjoyment. With a little bit of water the impressions are as follows:
Nose: More layers of peat, coal and soot. Of course, all those flavours appear in a subtle way. After that, these notes emerge: ginger, ripe pears, and dried fruit. Really stunning.
The taste becomes somewhat hotter and more seductive: freshly ground black pepper appears, some smoked meat and salty citruses. Aftertaste exudes in oak with a pleasant bitterness. Empty glass has an intense aroma of wool, seaweed, sheep milk cheese and those little firecrackers from childhood.  
Peat, smoke, soot - all those you can notice in the winter morning when you enter the room in which the old stove had been burning until dawn. Winter is waiting outdoors with soil covered with thick snow and in the distance, you can see the smoking chimney of a mountain hotel, heated by coal... However, Talisker 10, besides that peat note typical for the island of Islay, has that wonderfully balanced honey note and fruity character. It is an ideal winter dram, also suitable for those rainy afternoons when you can enjoy it by yourself. 

                                       Mark - gold - 91 out of a 100 points

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