Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 30.00
Official website: taliskerwhisky.com
After talking about the Talisker 10, it seemed right to also discuss the NAS that has replaced it as the distillery’s core range, a bottling that bears the name of the island on which it’s produced and which should probably become Talisker’s flagship.
I have nothing against the NAS, to fixate on the age of a distillate in order to establish its quality is a foolish practice: there are many factors that contribute to the aromas and flavours of a whisky, and the length of ageing is only one of them. Also because in a NAS (which I remember stands for No Age Statement) you can actually find very old whiskies mixed with younger ones.
As mentioned in the previous article, this NAS replaces its ageing sibling in terms of production volume so as not to put too much pressure on the distillery. This is probably a limited-time choice, and you can be sure that sooner or later the 10 year old will be re-launched with great nostalgia and a reminder of the good old days.
This Skye is easily found in supermarkets at an affordable price, so you may think it’s worth buying (spoiler: no).
It’s already young on the nose, where the influence of smoked woods can be felt quite a lot and in a disjointed way, travelling on a pungent and invasive alcoholic note. Sweet notes of vanilla and cinnamon, lots of pepper (it’s still a Talisker, by golly!) and a pinch of saltiness. Not a very organic mixture, where in the long run only the sense of roasting and pepper remains.
Poured on the palate, more alcohol and burnt wood, spices prevail and some sweetness but less evident than on the nose. The marine character is a little subdued, overwhelmed by the stronger scents that tend to cover everything.
The finish is still roasted and spicy, somewhat fleeting.
Its intention is probably to be an introduction to Talisker, the distillery’s distinctive notes are all there but they are uneven, disharmonious, the probable predominance of younger whiskies has unbalanced the aromas, depriving the bottle of the elegance of its “missing” brother.
If you don’t know Talisker and want to get an idea of it, take a 10 year old that is still easily found and leave this one alone.