Re: Talisker 12, for France
Is that the one bottled in 2007? If so, then yes I have tried it - here are my notes:
Nose: Ground white pepper, Tabasco and maritime notes. Quite creamy. Lightly peated. Fresh basil leaves? Light oak. Hint of raisins and chocolate-coated peanuts. Soft sherry tones. Fairly sweet. Something slightly medicinal. Very, very light notes of lemon meringue.
Palate: Thin and weak. Very mild sherry and peat. Peppery again, alongside some salt. Watery lemon juice. Slightly briny.
Finish: Quite long and peppery, with notes of smoke, mild Tabasco and salt. A little lemon juice and perhaps a faint touch of peat towards the end.
You could look at this as a gentle introduction to Talisker; not as powerful as the 10, not as complex as the 18. Quite thin and watery throughout. If it's raw power you're after, go with the 10; for complexity, the 18. It does share a few family traits, but it's a long-distant relative rather than a sibling.