Talisker 10, 2016 Release

Let’s start the month with a timeIy review. I last reviewed a Talisker 10 in July 2014 when the blog was just over a year old. That review was of a bottle from 2009 but it sparked a long discussion in the comments about the decline of the Talisker 10 in the ensuing decade. The point of contention was the question of whether reports of the decline of classic Diageo malts can be separated from whisky geeks’ negative feelings about everything else Diageo has done in that period (the move to NAS, higher prices etc. etc.). I couldn’t make any comment then on whether the Talisker 10 has in fact declined in this decade because I hadn’t tasted any released in this decade.  Well, it’s only taken me three and a half years but I now have a review of a bottle released in 2016. I opened it a couple of weeks ago for a tasting focused on peated whiskies for my local group. It placed last in terms of scores but most people liked it. I’m interested to get back into it for a review now that the bottle’s been open for a bit. 

Talisker 10, 2016 Release (45.8%; from my own bottle)

Nose: Peppery peat, orange peel and a lot of salt. Gets a little sweeter as it sits and a little biscuity but the salt and peat are still the top notes. Meatier with more time (a bit of ham). The smoke gets a bit phenolic with water (just a bit); there’s a bit of vanilla too now, and less salt.

Palate: Leads with the peat and the salt and the citrus shows up as I swallow. Smokier on the second sip. The texture suggests a lower strength. With more time there’s some rock salt in the mix. Water pushes the salt back here too and improves the texture.

Finish: Medium. No new development; all the stuff from the palate slowly fades out, the salt making the final impression. Not much change here.

Comments: This is in the general ballpark of the 2009 release but it’s a bit thinner, especially on the palate. Still a very good whisky and still one that belongs on any single malt drinker’s shelf but, yes, not quite as good as the 2009 release. And I liked it better with a drop of water.

Rating: 85 points.


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