Talisker Distillery is the oldest working distillery on the stunning Isle of Skye and creates fiercely peated drams with a light body.
It was first built in 1830, much to the dismay of the local preacher, who made sure to remind his parishioners that whisky would be their undoing.
Unfortunately for him, but very fortunately for us, Talisker went from strength to strength and became very successful.
It has changed hands a number of times over the past two centuries and today it is part of the Diageo family. They have even included it in their classic malts series, signifying its quality and renown.
They have a core range that includes a 10, 18 and 25 year old, as well as several other expressions such as a Distiller’s Edition and some special releases.
Talisker Dark Storm is one such release, having been launched as a travel retail exclusive in 2013.
It is a bold malt, bursting with flavour and all the key characteristics that make Talisker what it is.
It opens with a nose of spices and herbs. It has chilli with a hint of lime and a lovely sprinkling of black pepper over it.
This gives it warmth, which goes hand in hand with the smoke and peated notes that seep through. These are boisterous, but do not overwhelm the other flavours.
There is also a lovely orchard quality to this malt, with some apples and pears, and a note of toasted oak as well.
This grows on the palate, where it is joined by more fruits. Summer berries and citrus fruits abound, with lots of tang and zest. These are all drizzled with smooth, soft honey that especially adds to the wooded flavours.
These are big flavours, and they need to be to compete with the bold smoke and dull peat that comes through. These flavours wrap everything together and create a lovely mix.
The spices come through again, with yet more chilli and pepper. These are mouth watering and add a nice depth to the dram.
The finish is big and bold, with more peat and a final warming kick of black pepper and cinnamon.
Also published on Medium.