Talisker 18 Year Old is part of the 20 Whiskies that changed the world as an example of mellow, aged peat. It was launched in 2004 as an older sibling to the rugged Talisker 10 Years. Back in those days, peat smoke was not as popular as today, with a relatively small selection of the classic we know today, including Talisker.
The 18 Year Old is a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.
Talisker 18 yo (45,8%, OB +/- 2021)
Nose: ripe oranges and mandarins, including peels, as well as hints of leather, toffee sweetness, walnuts, subtle vanilla and a slightly sour and coastal tang. A floral touch as well. Gentle peat smoke indeed, merely embers with menthol and hessian.
Mouth: slightly more power now, with a bigger briny side, oak spice (pepper but less than in the 10 Year Old, also ginger) with herbal touches and a bit more peat than the nose suggested. Warm bonfire, hints of camphor, very subtle tarry notes. Some rounder toffee sweetness from the sherry casks underneath. Nicely balanced.
Finish: quite long, with a hint of pepper, earthy ashes, a salty edge and some dried fruit.
A true gentleman’s dram. Warm, refined, reasonably priced as well. Talisker 18 looses some punch to the Talisker 10, but it gains in complexity and balance. You can get the full sample set from The Whisky Exchange. Full bottles are often hard to find these days but typically around € 95.