The skies opened up tonight here in Calgary. An ominous wall of bruised black and grey cloud built up in the Northwest and slowly rolled in across the sky like a surging army. The thunder rumbled and lightning flashed from time to time. And of course we were out on a family walk when this all developed.
As we walked the last half kilometer or so back home it dawned on me how perfectly aligned the universe is sometimes. Earlier today I’d pulled out a couple Taliskers for a little tasting session. The 10 year old, just as a point of reference and to maybe update a rather sh*tty earlier review; the 57° North; and, of course, Storm, of which you’re reading now. Serendipitous natural occurrences. Love ’em.
First things first. I like this whisky. Quite a lot actually. It’s not the best of Talisker, but it’s a solid addition to the range, and another worthy variation on a theme. That’s the good news.
The bad news is a little less palatable for me. At the end of the day, it’s simply a matter of principle. Some may not take exception to this particular issue, but it’s sort of a topical subject for me at the moment, and this malt is a perfect tool to use in making a case. Storm is yet another NAS whisky. I doubt there are any of you out there not ‘in the know’ at this point, but if so…don’t sweat it. NAS means ‘no age statement’. In short it means that the distillery is best served by NOT telling us how old the whisky in the jar is. In some cases the dram still comes together cohesively and age is a non-issue (but should still be declared, in my humble opinion). In other cases, there are absolutely easily detectable nuances of overly young whisky in the mix. Storm is a prime example of this less than flawless blending. The whole is better than its individual parts (the individual casks), I assume, but the parts, unfortunately, are all visible. And some seem young indeed.
Let’s not get too down though, or start flogging a dead horse. At the end of the day…it’s still a good malt. I like it. And will happily continue to give my money to Diageo. If the price is right, don’t feel bad about dropping a few bucks (Pounds. Euro. Whatever).
Nose: A little more on the dry peats and wet rock notes than the standard Talisker. Young barley sugar. Supposedly a mix of old and young, but the youth rules. Somewhat of a creamy, custard note. Vanilla ice cream-ish. With cracked pepper atop, that is. Peat and seaspray. Sour green candies. Occasional waft of smoke.
Palate: Peat and pepper. Lemon juice on oyster shells. Fairly active wood, faint licorice. Cinnamon. Slight fishiness (or smoked seafood of some sort). Chewy fruit sweets.
Thoughts: Smells young. Still works, but could have been much more with a little more oomph and age. Oh well. Any Talisker is a good Talisker.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt