Ahh…that’s the stuff. If you’re looking for a fair and balanced Talisker 18 review, look elsewhere (perhaps some of the links at the bottom of this post). I have nothing negative to say about this wonderful scotch whisky. In fact, the first time I tasted it, I immediately declared it better than all of the other scotches I’d tasted. Although, at the time (just four months ago), that count stood at around 8. I’ve tried a lot more whiskies since then, scotch and others, and I’ve since given up trying to declare a single “best” one. I’ve gone with more of a tier system, and Talisker 18 remains in the top tier along with Lagavulin 16 and DE, Highland Park 18, and perhaps The Glenlivet 18.
On the nose, I get an earthy peat and light smoke, something slightly medicinal, and finally just a bit of toffee sweetness. Once in the mouth, the sweetness becomes more fruity, and then a slight peppery sensation grows stronger in the back of the mouth as the drink goes down. Finally, coming up through the back of the nose at the end is that earthy peat and smoke again. I can’t believe how balanced this scotch is. Those main elements of peat, smoke, iodine, sweetness and pepper come and go in waves, dancing together in harmony like… Oh crap. I’m starting to wax poetic over my freaking drink. Ok…climbing back down to earth here: This scotch whisky rocks!
Apparently, I’m not the only one that puts the Talisker 18 way up there relative to other whiskies. It won the “Worlds Best Single Malt Whisky” award in the 2007 World Whiskies Awards, for whatever that’s worth. This whisky is bottled at 45.8%, and I’ve purchased it in two configurations: 200ml as part of a gift pack containing the 10, 18 and DE Taliskers (highly recommended, and I’ll talk about this in another post) – $65; 750ml bottle – $70 to $80. Currently, the Talisker 18 has gotten very difficult to find locally in AZ. No new stock appears to be coming in. Luckily I have a couple of additional bottles stocked up for future use.
Check out these additional tasting notes and resources for Talisker 18:
- Whisky Magazine – Notes and ratings by Martine Nouet and Dave Broom, as well as links to WM Forum threads, including comparisons of the 10 year to the 18.
- The Whisky Exchange – In addition to being able to buy it here, you can see the stats and additional tasting notes.
- K&L Wine Merchants – Located in CA, selling it for $76. The reason I’m posting the link here is so you can check out their description. They’re saying that the 18 is “almost out of existance”. I emailed them about it and they replied that this is what their sales rep said. It seems to be readily available overseas, and the distillery web site doesn’t say anything about it going away, so I’m not sure what to make of that.
- Malts.com – Tasting notes on the 18 and other Talisker varieties from the Diageo Classic Malts web site. [This doesn't seem to be the most reliable web server in the world].
- Distillery location [Carbost, Isle of Skye, UK] in Google Maps: