Group Review: Talisker 10

Here’s the next in our series of TWS group reviews. Six of our members have posted reviews of this popular island dram and it was great to see what the consolidated group’s thoughts on it were.

Talisker 10 Group Review Summary

  • Top 5 Tasting Notes: Peat, Smoke, Brine, Sugar, Pepper (see word cloud for full breakdown of flavour notes we recorded)
  • Max Score: 90
  • Min Score: 82
  • Average Score: 85.3

Boyd86’s Review:

Sample for the review came from my own bottle that has been open for about 10 months.

  • N: Lots of pepper, salt/brine, earthy-seawater style peat with some smoke, apple skins, some hay/dry grass, olives
  • P: peppery briny peat dominates, seaweed, malty, brown sugar, I find it quite minerally which adds some nice complexity, small amount of some nondescript stone fruit
  • F: Medium finish. Again dominated by pepper, brine and a hint of smoke, also some orange/citrus
  • Score: 82

Overall: This is a very good entry level malt in my opinion. It is balanced, more complex than I expected and the style of peat is quite unique and enjoyable. Of note I wish I did a review earlier on in the bottle as I thought this one lost some flavour intensity as I’ve made my way through this bottle and remember liking it more when first opened, it’s possible this one is more susceptible to oxidation than others. Overall this is a very solid dram perfect for the fall/winter.

Bryan’s Review:

  • Appearance: light yellow gold.
  • Nose: light yellow gold.
  • Taste: salty. My boss says left nut ballsack . Lightly peaty. Nutty. Very peppery. Creamy
  • Finish: longer. Tasty. Very enjoyable.
  • Rating: 90

A light coloured, thick legged beauty. spiciness, pepper, peat smoke, brine and burnt sugar. delicious.

Kinohead’s Review:

  • Colour: Golden caramel.
  • Nose: Peat, lemon, salt, menthol, wood, ocean, green grass.
  • Palate: Peat, smoke, mint, maple syrup, honey, red liquorice, lemon.
  • Finish: Wood, vanilla, paprika, burnt matches, strawberry, lemon.
  • Score: 85/100

Nice, flavourful, easy to drink, subtly unique, Islay-esque. 45.8 abv is perfect and inoffensive. A Quality staple. Probably a more approachable peated offering than most.

Kyle’s Review:

  • Appearance: Amber
  • Nose: Peat up front but not overwhelming, vanilla, lychee, white grapes, Turkish delight, barley sugar, touch of lime.
  • Taste: Nice vanilla sweetness up front, pear, lychee, barley sugar, cane sugar, some nice wood spice, a hint of some vegital peat but way in the background.
  • Finish: Finishes with nice lingering white fruits and cinnamon with a touch of peat smoke.
  • Score: 87/100

Notes: I’m not sure why, but I was expecting this to be a lot more smokey than it was (granted I’ve never had Talisker before). Instead, what I got was a whisky where the smoke is merely a supporting cast member to the leads of sweet malty sugar and white fruits. This is quite complex and I really enjoyed it.

TOModera’s Review:

  • Colour: Faint yellow highlighter
  • Nose: Smoke, salt air, butterscotch, caramel sundae, beernuts, Pinesol, oil, oak, orange zest, smoke meat. Merry Christmas that’s good! Why did I wait so long to try this? This is more salty than a traditional Islay, which is nice. There’s even a great woody/caramel mix that is in there.
  • Taste: Brine, peat, chili flakes, vanilla pudding, dill, lemon, smoke, light cranberry, tarragon, pepper, cocoa, mace. I’m getting more herbs that I originally assumed I’d ever have in a Scotch. It’s getting a little bit in the way for me, however this is still nice to sip.
  • Finish: Light breeze, hay, peat, cloves, mushroom, brown sugar, smoked ribs, bacon, dehydrated apricot. There’s the smoke I was looking for, where it belongs. In the finish. Seriously though, I’m really liking the finish on this. It makes up for the jumble of herbs I found in the taste, and really leaves you with that smoked meat flavour I was looking for.
  • Score: 83/100

Conclusion: Talisker 10 is always worth trying. There’s no argument there. If it’s at a bar, have a glass and enjoy. Goes well with Dessert or with Ribs. That being said, it was a bit too herbal for me, so it loses marks versus Ardbeg 10 though is massively better than Bowmore.

Xile_’s Review:

  • Nose: Brine, citrus, salt-cured fish, apple, nuts, hay, light smoke
  • Taste: Caramel, brine, black pepper, lemon cough drops, earth, seaweed, cereal notes
  • Finish: Brine, black pepper, nutmeg, brown sugar, seaweed
  • Score: 85/100

Big on the briny and coastal notes, cut with some refreshing fruitiness and savoury notes on the nose. Sweet up front, again big and briny but also some herbal/earthy qualities now with a feisty peppery kick to the taste. The finish is predominantly spicy, with the brine balanced by a lingering faint brown sugar-like sweetness and a bit of a sourish aftertaste.

Quite rich and full bodied with bold flavours, decent complexity and balance and a pretty unique style. For an entry level OB malt, this quickly exceeded my expectations and ended up being a pleasant surprise. I can see this being an easy gateway drug for someone seeking a path to more peated drams. For myself, must remember to seek out some more Talisker in the future…



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