A couple years back I reviewed the Talisker 10 Year Old, a Scotch whisky with flavors of peat, seaweed, fruit, spices, wood, and … peat. Lots of peat. Just what you would expect from a Scotch whisky. I enjoyed it quite a bit, so when I found out that Talisker released a new whisky earlier this year called the Talisker Skye, I knew I wanted to try it. While I enjoy peat in my whisky, I can see where a lot of Talisker whiskies might be overwhelming for other drinkers. The Talisker Skye has been aged in refill and toasted American oak casks so that it will have a milder peat flavor.
The Talisker Skye is named for the beautiful island of Skye where the Talisker distillery is located. You can see an image of Skye on the box as well as on the label. It looks like cold, beautiful, rugged country—a stark kind of paradise. Is the Talisker Skye paradise in a bottle? Let’s find out.
This whisky is exactly the same in appearance as the Talisker 10 Year Old, with a warm golden color. On the nose, I am picking up peat (as expected), honey, spices, toffee or caramel, and orange. There is a smokiness to the scent. Taking a drink, a lot of the flavors on the palate are similar to what I remember from the 10 Year Old. There is orange and spice in there, probably cinnamon and nutmeg. The toffee or caramel I smelled actually tastes more like chocolate with a hint of vanilla. There is a long peppery finish. The orange lingers on the tongue for a while. The peat is definitely there, but as I expected, it is a lot less pronounced than I am used to with Talisker. In fact, if I didn’t know it was a Talisker, I might not have been sure.
Like the 10 Year Old, the Talisker Skye sells in the $45-$60 range. This puts it in the somewhat expensive price bracket, especially if you cannot get it at the lower end of that price range. Should you get it? Overall, I found it a very enjoyable whisky, well blended with some delicious flavors. Your expectations definitely should play a role in your decision, however. If you are a big peat fan and that is why you usually flock to Talisker, you may be disappointed by the Skye. If you enjoy peat whiskies but wish they were a little less overpowering, the Skye may be exactly what you have been searching for, and a very good purchase.
Talisker Skye : Summary
Colour: Bright, rich gold.
Nose: Smoky honey, peat, spices, caramel, toffee, and orange.
Palate: Peat, chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange, pepper.