Talisker 18 (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: 18 years: 45.8% ABV)

Visual: Deep rich gold.

Viscosity: Quite slow thick trails.

Nose: Gingerbread. Mulled spice. Salt. Light peat and beef broth. Water mellows, touch of chocolate truffles and honey come out.

Body: Toffee sweet. Strong. Glacier cherry. Alcohol is noticeable. Salty touch. Dry smoke and peat. Beef slices. Water makes like honey in a mead fashion and adds spice amongst the salt and beef slices.

Finish:  Spicy red wine. Glacier cherries. Salt. Alcohol fills the mouth. Malt chocolate. Madeira cakes. Kippers and oils. Custard. Waters makes saltier, wet rocks and sea breeze.

Conclusion:  Talisker, the balanced heavyweight of the whisky world.  Here still with just shy of 46% abv. There is a fire to it, even with water, but as Talisker deserves, it gives you something extra in exchange for that fire.

Deliciously sweet, with rich cherry notes that become honeyed with water. Richer than the ten year and has a rounded sweet base that the salt and peat work within.  In fact considering the Talisker was the only not overly sweet whisky out of the Distillers Editions it is unusual to see this 18 year expression bring in such extra sweet notes.

As always Talisker balances that Island salt character and weight with a more restrained but delicious notes. A mix that makes it popular across the whisky lover’s spectrum. There is an alchemic mix with the sweetness not harming the heavier notes at all.

It is a whisky that asks you to work with it. No reasonable amount of water diminishes its dry finish and fire. What it does is make that effort worth it.  Varied and enjoyable in character. Sweet, spiced, salty and full of meat characteristics, harsh yet pleasant.

Talisker continues to be a spirit that shows element from the full whisky world. Rough edged and powerful, it is not as good as the distillers edition but it gives it a good run for its money.   The only real fault is the excessive burn. If, like me, you decide you can live with that then it is well worth it.

Background: Talisker has always been a solid and weighty dram, one that, to me, is up there with Highland Park on showing what people think of when they consider the loosely gathered Island Whiskies. I hadn’t hit the Rummer Hotel for a while, so with it being an extended Easter weekend I dropped over to try some good quality whisky and start off the weekend.