What's In David's Bar - 1/25/10

So this bottle is not a staple of my home bar, but rather something that I just purchased today.  I've been tempted by this bottle since it first came in, as I've only ever tasted Talisker's standard 10 year bottling.  This malt is considered to be not only one of their best, but also one of their best values.  For $75.99 you get an 18 year old whisky!  Oban 18 = $130.99.  Bruichladdich 16 = $99.99.  Highland Park 18 = $89.99.  Talisker is one of the great all-rounders in the single malt world: it has the peat of Islay, the sweet richness of Speyside, the fruit of the Highlands, and the seawater of the Islands.  I rarely buy whisky these days because I taste for a living; if anything, I'm begging for a bottle of wine.  However, I'm so satisfied with this bottle beacause it's both comforting and interesting.  Some Speyside malts are a bit too bland with only the Sherry wood to carry them.  Sometimes the big guns of Islay are too intense for unwinding during the evening.  Talisker gives me everything I desire and the 18 year is a spectacular expression of the Isle of Skye's finest dram.  The nose is primarily peaty smoke, but a second whiff shows honey and caramel.  The flavors are soft, but concentrated with smoke, honey, hints of sweetness, and seawater notes.  The finish is still lingering as I type this nearly a full 20 minutes after I finished my glass.  My buddy John Hansell over at the Malt Advocate considers this whisky to be one of the true values in today's market and I understand why.  It overachieves and astounds in every way.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll