Talisker distillery is one of Islang single-malt scotch distilleries from the Isle of Skye. As R. L. Stevenson once wrote:
But maistly thee, the bluid o’ Scots . . .
The king o’ drinks, as I conceive it,
Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet!
Barley is sourced from the Muir of Ord, a Highland village. In 1835, whisky distilling was legally granted in the village, and by 1885, the village produced 360 000 liters per year. The water is drawn from one of the 14 underground springs, that were used from the beginning of the distillery. 18 yo is matured in American oak ex-bourbon casks. In 2007, the World Whiskies Awards named it the best single malt in the world. One popular etymology states that its name comes from either from Gaelic talamh sgeir, "land of the cliff" (cf. Latin tellus, "earth") or Norse t-hallr Skjaer, "sloping rock" (the latter is cognate with English shear), which both make sense since its origin is near the cliffs overlooking the angry sea, pictured on the box.
Color: wonderful copper/amber. Color added though.
Overall: Got it from fine-whisky.de for around $100. The palate was better after a couple of minutes, but the nose worsened. It's better if one does not compare it to its younger brother 10 yo, often seen on my shelves. Since I'm a fan of Islay whiskies, I'm more inclined to go for 10 yo, but it's a matter of personal preference since I really enjoy strong peat. Maybe after Lagavulin 16 yo, this wasn't the right way to go, it was like putting down a bonfire. I'd buy it again if the price is right.
Hazelnuts and cinnamon, just a bit of smoke and vanilla, mint.
Cocoa, quinine, a bit of pepper, a bit of caramel overtone and a strong sense of vanilla, sometimes iodine and salt, a night on the beach.
Medium to long, a bit of peat and Talisker chili with salt flakes, dry but invites you to join it again. Truly made by the sea.