We conclude our exploration into the introductory expressions from Talisker with Skye. Like Storm, Talisker Skye is a no age statement (NAS) single malt matured with a combination of refill and rejuvenated oak casks and bottled at 45.8% ABV.
It is named after the beautiful Isle of Skye, the largest island of the inner Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland (if you haven’t already, please please please check out the quick video linked to our bio). Talisker is the only distillery on the entire island but despite its remote location, it is one of the most-visted distilleries in all of Scotland. Talisker Skye was most recently awarded gold medal at the International World Spirits Competition in 2015, the same year of its initial release. Quite impressive indeed.
Of all the expressions in the Talisker range, Skye is known to be the softest, most approachable spirit available. That’s not to say that it won’t be free of peat smoke and other coastal elements. As we have already explored, the Talisker style is rather rich, bold, and intense. The whisky we are about to taste, however, is often viewed as a bridge to Scottish island whisky. Will it perform as intended? Let’s get to it…
On the nose, wow! Quite different than the first two. A fresh seabreeze heavy in salt and minerals with but a hint of peat smoke. This one is considerably calmer than the Talisker Storm and 10 Year Old. If you cut through the salty air, you will find a sweet aroma of juicy pears, a dash of vanilla and mild spices. A few drops of water really go a long way with this one. I always felt that the classic Talisker aroma consisted of a hundred different voices all shouting out for attention. That’s not the case here. It’s much more democratic if you will. Everything seems to coexist with little tension, with more balance and direction. An aroma that may seem odd at first but really grows on you after a few minutes.
On the palate, wow still very curious to know what is going on here. A surprisingly impressive mouthfeel with pleasant citrus oils, rich maltiness and just a slight punch of smoke. It doesn’t have the same black peppercorn punch as the 10 Year Old but more of a dash of white pepper on top of freshly cut pears and cold oak stained with vanilla extract. All of this is brought together with an unmistakable presence of sea foam. The flavor profile is much softer, much calmer, and very curious. The finish lingers a bit longer than but perhaps it just seems that way because the whole experience moves at a much more gradual pace.
Overall, a beautiful introduction to the world of Talisker. Much calmer than the bold, intense Storm but undoubtedly related. When I first tasted the Skye I struggled to find its true purpose. After having it in my possession for a few months I have been surprised by how many times I reach for it. To me, the Talisker 10 Year Old is the ideal dram for a cold, stormy day. But in this climate there are more “in-between” days. Days when the sun is shining and all you want is to sit on the dock by the sea with a whisky in hand. For those of you who don’t live by the sea, Talisker Skye will take you there.