Tag Archives: single malt

Talisker 10, 45.8% ABV, Isle of Skye Single Malt

The wife and I went to OBX for a long overdue vacation. I needed something special and searfaring to take and sip in opulence as I wasted away 6 days and 7 nights in relaxation. Enter Talisker 10. This little beauty hails from the Island of Skye and is the only distillery on the island. The water, sourced from Cnoc nan Speireag (Hawk Hill), flows over peat which adds additional peatiness to the whisky. You may find more of the storied history of Talisker here. For me, I wanted something that bold, briny, and worth of ocean air sipping.

Talisker 10, 45.8% ABV, Isle of Skye Single Malt, $70 USD Talisker 10

Ambiance: Sitting on the top deck of our cottage by the sea with the sounds of waves crashing not too far off, the constant breeze playing all around, the open sky with cluster of stars showing up in the absence of light pollution, and sitting on a rocking chair after a long day basking in the sun.

Color: Had to look at it in the light before going outside, Amber +1/2 and deep. I could look at it all day. I know it is probably artificially colored, but it is quite attractive and gives the scotch a “heavy” feel before even quaffing it.

Nose: kippery sea salt affronts the senses, then gentle smoked peat that is deeper than other Islays I’ve had. Hint of vanilla and toffee.

Palate: coating. Reminded me instantly of the mouth feel of HP 12, the taste however, WOW! A cacophony of juxtaposing flavors, salty maritime that is light and airy like the breeze, and heavy, rich earthy, peat bog runoff. There was a sweetness that I can only liken to toffee, but I’m not sure that’s quite the description.

Finish: Smoky sweet that is warm to a burn at first, goes away, but by the time you lick your lips (you have to as this scotch is so rich) the warmth rises from your belly into your core. Very long and comforting. I know some don’t like this on a warm/hot day, but it does not in any way detract from the experience, in fact, it played very well with being at the beach.

Overall this dram perfectly accented a beach vacation. Warm outside from the sun and warm inside from Talisker, couldn’t be a happier dude.

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Aberlour 12 Double Cask Matured, 43% ABV, Speyside Single Malt

Things were beginning to heat up on my trek to taste more of the world of single malts. After tackling my first bottle of Speyburn 10, the recommendations were flying. Try this Isaly, it will blow your mind! Try this Highland scotch, it’s the best out there!

For the uninitiated, here is a quick/dirty run-down of the major players in the scotch flavor profile (not meant to be very thorough, just a side-note and more info here –>http://www.scotlandwhisky.com/about/single-malt-scotch-whiskyregions ):

  • Islay: Heavily peated, smoked. Aggressive.
  • Highland: Dryer, sweeter, fruits, a touch complex
  • Speyside: Mellow, sweet, I find them to be a touch floral
  • Lowlands: High malt, delicate, grassy

I found myself with a quick case of alcoholic’s ADD. I didn’t know which way to go, but I knew I had to get there quickly and with something completely different. With the mindset that scotch, compared to bourbons, was something that one sipped, savored, contemplated and enjoyed, I chose to go down a more delicate path to the Speyside. Best I could tell, Aberlour 12 was a good place to start and here’s my take:

Aberlour 12 Double Cask, 43% ABV, $45 USDImage

  • Color: burnt amber with slight ruby hue in direct sun
  • Nose: over ripened bananas, medicinal cherries, background of slightly charred oak, cinnamon and other woody spices round it out
  • Palate: Warm, soft (surprisingly) cherry cough syrup (in a good way) giving way to the over ripe sugary bananas then blossoming into the spicy and mellow smoked oak flavors at the back
  • Finish: Lightly warming and the above mentioned flavors really spark alive at the finish as you can smell them again. They evaporate into a pleasantly lingering roasted oak that is in no way overpowering. The mouth feel dissipates in an appropriate time between drinks just to give you enough time to forget what it tastes like and want to remember again.

Overall: This scotch was a kick in the soul shouting, “Wake up!” It’s utterly amazing that so many flavors and feelings can come from a single dram. Sure, it had 12 years to get there, but man oh man, what did I get myself into? The fruity playful nose was only hiding a very serious flavor of sherry, fruit (old), spices, and warmth. A staple for any collection and best enjoyed when there’s a slight nip in the air.