Origin: Isle of Skye (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 30.00
Official website: taliskerwhisky.com
Speaking of Skye, I’ve already muttered a lot about Diageo’s decision to replace the 10 year old with two NAS, Skye and Storm.
The idea of splitting the distillery’s mother bottling in two could have been interesting on paper: from a whisky with very well-known connotations, create two expressions that would soften (the Skye) and exasperate (the Storm) its character.
Did they succeed?
Distributed since 2013, this bottling immediately created a lot of divisions among enthusiasts, partly because it was a NAS (something many people turn their noses up at), and partly because at least initially it cost more than its big brother. Today, the price has become more reasonable, the three bottles can be found proudly side by side in most of the big supermarkets and the world is still (more or less) in its place: much ado about nothing? Sure, if not, what’s the point of the Internet?
A not very bright golden yellow slides into the glass, bold with its colouring and unwilling to let us know for how long it’s been aged (said to vary from 8 to 25 years).
On the nose, the thing that immediately jumps to attention is the peat aspect, in its not being as intense as one would expect: the renovated barrels used for ageing were re-burned before use, just to give the toasted boost to the malt, but on the nose you find instead a light smoke, almost in the background. Marine notes and sweet ones predominate, with yellow fruit and butter biscuits. Unusually gentle, perhaps the calm before the storm? Not quite.
On the palate, the alcohol is present but not excessive, and the buttery aspect of the whisky lingers decisively. The peat is there but far from being imposing, almost shy, instead the sweeter and more pandering aspects prevail: more fruit, with a citrus note, pepper (Talisker, here it is!), more biscuits, malt (not so old) and the marinity, which acts as a glue to the whole. I also detect a bit of wood, not invasive.
In the finish, pepper and the marine aspect prevail, peat always just slightly present, as if it were more a suggestion than a real perception, all for a not very long time.
If you want to talk about marketing, they’ve blown it big time here: the storm that the name would portend is completely absent, and instead you get a softer, sweeter Talisker. A far cry from what (one assumes) were the intentions, but all in all pleasant, a variation on the classic ten-year-old that, as you’ll see from the reviews below, wowed some, left others quite indifferent. Like me.
The Whiskey Jug