Whiskey Nerds
Talisker Storm
21.04.20163 Min Read — In General

A whiskey made by the sea

Talisker Storm offers the drinker Talisker’s full maritime majesty, all unfettered elemental power and confidence. A smokey spicy option which is lighter in body than it's big brother Dark Storm.

What they say

Nose: Powerful, fresh-clean and growing in complexity like a gathering storm. Sweet maltiness with ripe red berry fruit moves to smoke, brine and an explosion of pepper.

Appearance: Full gold.

Body: Medium

Palate: Mellow and rich, then very spicy: a pure, tongue-coating sweetness joins a nutty smokiness to embrace those spicier notes.

Finish: Drier and of medium-length, with a lasting, smooth aftertaste, in which light peaty burnt embers can be found.


About the distillery

The only distillery on the Isle of Skye

The distillery was founded in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, and built in 1831 at Carbost after a number of false starts on other sites when they acquired the lease of Talisker House from the MacLeod of MacLeod. The distillery was rebuilt 1880–87 and extended in 1900. When a new lease for the distillery was negotiated with the chief of Clan MacLeod in 1892 the annual payment was to be £23.12s and a ten-gallon cask of best-quality Talisker. It was rebuilt in 1960 after a stillhouse fire completely destroyed the distillery.

The distillery operates five stills; two wash stills and three spirit stills. All the stills use worm tubs (condensing coils) rather than a modern condenser, which are believed to give the whisky a "fuller" flavour (itself an indication of higher sugar content).

During this early period, the whisky was produced using a triple distilling method, but changed to the more conventional double distilling in 1928. Talisker was acquired by Distillers Company in 1925 and is now part of Diageo.

After the 1960 fire, five exact replicas of the original stills were constructed to preserve the original Talisker flavour. In 1972 the stills were converted to steam heating and the maltings floor was demolished. Talisker’s water comes from springs directly above the distillery via a network of pipes and wells.

The malted barley used in production comes from Muir of Ord. Talisker has an unusual feature—swan neck lye pipes. A loop in the pipes takes the vapour from the stills to the worm tubs so some of the alcohol already condenses before it reaches the cooler. It then runs back in to the stills and is distilled again. Talisker now has an annual output of three and a half million litres of spirit.

Talisker was the favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and HV Morton. In his poem "The Scotsman's Return From Abroad", Stevenson mentioned "The king o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet."


Details:

StyleSingle Malt, Scotch
RegionIsle of Skye
Alcohol45.8%

Our Score:

Nose8/10
Taste9/10
Finish7/10
Overall8/10

Comments

"Literally like a sea right in my mouth"

"Smokey on the nose"

"Less of a burn than anticipated given the smokey aroma"

"Slight hints of bacon"

"I love it, its delicious"

"You can taste the chimney"

"Once opened with a drop of water, it's smoothness increased comparable to that of an Irish whiskey"

"Great value for money"

"Vodka drinker, converted"

Overall:

A great whiskey for a great price. Fantastically drinkable with hints of smoke but not too heavy.

This whiskey would be a perfect introduction to the realm of peated whiskeys.