Winter is Coming
As promised, we're about to being moving into the Fall/Winter segment of our Old Particular single cask selections. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting longer, and that little nip in the air starts awakening our thirst for peated Scotch whisky. Let's begin with the perfect October warm up: an absolutely perfect cask of Talisker 8 year old. If you liked the Lagavulin 8, you're going to love this Talisker (especially since this one's at full proof and costs about the same).
Anyone familiar with Talisker understands its role in the pantheon of Scotland's greatest distilleries. Located on the Isle of Skye, a rugged and remote locate battered by the wind and sea, the malt produced at Talisker has always captured the imagination of whisky drinkers with its maritime flavors of salt, smoke, oil, and peat. It has also long been one of Scotland's most refined and elegant whiskies, balancing those elements with restraint and delicacy in comparison to Islay's more powerful and intense expressions like Ardbeg and Laphroaig. Talisker is a smoky whisky, full of bonfire and soot, but the standard 10 year distillery release manages to mellow out the phenolic elements with ample fruit and vanilla. It's that ability to restrain those rugged island forces into something accessible and beautiful that has made Talisker's reputation.
What this single barrel cask strength eight year old edition allows for is an unbridled and unrestrained look into the whisky's true power and potential. It's everything we know and love about Talisker, just dialed up. The first sip brings sweetness from the malted barley and oak cask maturation, followed by fruit and baking spices as well, but then the power of the proof kicks in and the peat takes over. There are notes of tar and salt, followed by more chimney smoke and earth, before those notes begin to fade and the earthier notes of pure peat highlight the finish. All in all, it's a Talisker lover's dream, but it's Talisker with an ode to Islay in terms of power and potency. I've tasted it on seven different occasions today and I can't get enough of it.