MrTattieHeid wrote:The 10 is a malt every whisky drinker should check out, not merely one of the Classic Malts but a true classic, unmistakably distinctive. Doesn't guarantee you'll like it, of course! The 18 is indeed a thing of beauty, but I feel generally that it's worth understanding the flagship bottling before getting at the older expressions, and that's definitely true here.
I agree with all of this statement, 100%. That being said, I am also one of the rare birds who liked the 175 Anniversary bottelings a great deal, along with the Distillers edition. Here are my most recent Talisker notes.
89 Sm Talisker NAS '175th Anniversary' (45.8%, OB, 2005) August 18th, 2007. Well, I have a bottle of this and was saving it for that special day. Fortunately, one of my new trading partners had this open, so I get to sample it now. Very cool. Nose: A good deal going on. Some pepper and peat, and some gentle spices that hint of some vatting including sherry casks, grape as well. A little bit of feints, but good in context. Mouth: Wow, I really like this a lot. Far more interesting, to me, then the most recent Talisker I had. Not as intense, but balanced between some sweetness and the power of the peat. Less sweet then the distillers edition. I know its vogue to hit this one for not being as intense, for being a toned town Talisker, but I think it is my favorite to date (but, I have a sample of the 18yo to try). The finish, incidentally, is warming, satisfying and long.
88 Sm Talisker Double Matured 1992 (45.8%, OB, Bottled 2005) Well, I need to do some more formal tasting notes here, but for now I can say I enjoy this malt, but perhaps not as much as the standard ten. I want to like the double distilled line more than I do, but in truth, I think they tend to subtract by addition, especially if you already love the original. The second maturation, in more intense and seemingly first fill sherry casks of different types, dulls the peat and pepper of Talisker more than it creates complexity. That said, it is still a darn nice malt, I believe. Incidentally, this is one that I have enjoyed more and more. The sweetness is actually the perfect foil of the pepper and peat. This is one of those drams that grows on you over time, and becomes more enjoyable. Glad to have a spare bottle for a rainy day. I actually disagree with my first impression, it is a fairly complex and lovely malt. October 3, 2006, and I am at the last few sips of the bottle. As with the Lagavulin DE, this is a malt I have grown increasingly fond of over time. One of the nicest things about this malt is that underneath the sherry, peat and pepper, there is delectable layer of malt, especially on the nose.
87 Sm Talisker 18yo (45.8%, OB, circa 2006) August 19th. The winner of the best whisky in the world award by one of the magazines. Lets see. Mouth: Malty and sherry sweetness on the nose. Takes a bit of time to start reaching full speed. Peaty at the core, this is nice. Mouth: Like a slow wave, peat, some pepper, some sweetness later. Finish. Medium, peppery. This is a really good malt, but I have to admit to liking the "175" a bit more.