Bottom of the Barrel #2: Talisker 10 Year Old

Only my second edition of Bottom of the Barrel and my boat has most definitely come in!

Talisker 10 for under £25?

That’s an insane price!

Country: Scotland
Region: Isle of Skye
Distillery: Talisker
Bottler: Talisker
ABV: 45.8%


Price Paid: £24.99 (On Offer)
RRP: £38.85

I’ve known and loved Talisker since my very first few forays into whisky; with its bold, spicy flavour and golden russet colour it’s always one to keep an eye out for at pubs with slightly more informed managers.

Founded in 1830 on Loch Harport, Talisker was sold to businessman Donald MacLellan in 1857, but began to develop a reputation when Alexander Grigor Allan from Morayshire and Aberdeen agent Roderick Kemp took over in 1880. A merger with Dailuaine distillery, owned by Thomas Mackenzie in 1898 made Talisker one of the largest selling malt whiskies in the country. The wash stills were rebuilt after a fire in 1960, and a copper mash tun and new worm tubs were installed in 1998. In 2011, a limited edition 34 Year Old was released.

For a good few years Talisker was one of my go to whisky’s; fairly easy to find and compared to the standard unpeated ex-bourbon cask fare I was used to (e.g. Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenmorangie) it was an absolute revelation.
With its bold spicy flavour I couldn’t believe that scotch could differ so much.
As my first experience of peat I suppose I could really credit this dram with giving me my first true foothold on the insurmountable malt mountain that is life.

Talisker’s 10 Year Old used to come in a much nicer box. Plainer and more sophisticated, but currently it’s available in a box with a blue-toned map of Skye and some pictures of crashing waves – I’m not a fan.
Get the bottle out though and it’s a different story. The label is exactly what you want from a whisky bottle; Informative, restrained and luxurious but not pretentious.

The colour of the liquid itself is, as stated above, a lovely deep russet colour. A shame when you realise that there has been colouring added, but warm and inviting nevertheless.

NOSE: 23
Salty oak on the nose with wisps of smoky peat rising up.
Momentarily a sweet fruitness shows itself and disappears just as quickly making you question whether it had ever been there at all.

Salty coastal brine, oak and tempered peat are obvious immediately and make up the lions share of the palate.
Sweet, rich fruits come through again very briefly to add to the complexity.
The finish is long and full yet still soft and approachable.
The fruit and pepper from before linger momentarily and then dissipate to allow a faint hint of leather to make an appearance alongside the ever-present peat.

A lovely reliable dram.
Smoky and salty with elements of brine and seaweed all underpinned by a welcoming woodiness.
A true classic malt with a huge depth of flavour.


Talisker 10 year old is a fantastic dram. Let me start by saying that.
It ticks so many boxes that are part of my criteria.
It’s warm, round, woody and complex enough to keep you finding new notes from month to month.
It’s spicy peat is gentle enough not to blow all other flavours out of your glass yet still strong enough to matter.

I found that my bottle’s flavour developed over the course of the month with more subtle fruity notes becoming obvious given the time to open up. As of last night my bottle probably has 2-4 drams left in it, a sign of its quality – I’ve knocked it back hard and heavy watching a good western and contemplated it slowly in a nosing glass; it lends itself to almost any situation perfectly.

This 10 year old expression fits my BotB criteria for a cheap, easy to drink yet sufficiently complex bottle of whisky almost exactly.
For me to rate a whisky above 80 and it to have cost under £30 is truly amazing.

As stated above, I’ve known how good Talisker was for a while now but very rarely does it duck under the £30 mark.
A crying shame in my opinion.

If you happen across a bottle of Talisker 10 at a similar price point then I highly suggest you rip the vendors hand off and stock up while you can.
You won’t be sorry.

Next Month: Bunnahabhain 12 Year Old


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s