Talisker distillery is located on the Isle of Skye in the small town of Carbost and was built by Kenneth & Hugh MacAskill in 1830 and began production in 1831.

North of Scotland Bank took over the lease in 1848 who sold it to Donald McLellan in 1857.

After various other changes of ownership, DCL took over Talisker in 1916 and then transferred to SMD (later to become Diageo) in 1930.

1960 Saw Talisker suffer a large fire which closed it for 2 years, before it reopened in 1962.


Distillery photo by Whisky Emporium photography


More great distillery info here, thanks to Malt Madness



  Talisker (OB) Current Expressions General whisky characteristics: Smoke, toffee and open sea  

Talisker, 10y, 45.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Smoke and treacle toffee on the open sea.

Palate: Banana, vanilla ice cream, smoke and toffee.

Finish: Long repeating finish concentrating on roof of mouth.

Overall Impression: A most enjoyable whisky which immediately transports me back onto the Isle of Skye.


Talisker, 10y, 45.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark oak

Nose: Initiaslly a lightly toasted, lightly burnt aroma which continues with some wood and vanilla in the background.

Palate: Creamy peach and vanilla, but then a suggestion of smokiness, more wood smoke than peat.

Finish. Long and creamy with some pepperiness.

Overall Impression: Very nice, just how it should be.



Talisker, 10y, 45.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2012

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich golden cork

Nose: Light rubbery peatiness alongside suggestions of apple, pear and a certain woodiness. The rubbery peatiness expands with time in the glass.

Palate: An initial burst of leafiness soon gives way to fruity light peat with that faint rubberiness. Then more fruitiness expands across the palate.

Finish. Long and fruity with a light peatiness.

Overall Impression: Interesting; Fruity light peatiness and gentle rubberiness. Nice too.



Talisker, 18y, 45.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;


Nose: Scottish heather by the coast on a misty, slightly smoky day.

Palate: Deliciously smooth with an initial and quite short burst of sharp fruit, but this very quickly disappears to be replaced by a gentle smokiness which lingers long and luxuriously on the palate.

Overall Impression: I love this whisky!

Revisiting this whisky:

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Oak, almost amber

Nose: Slightly salty notes over gentle peat and smoke with that Scottish Heather offering a hint of countryside.

Palate: Once again very smooth with some fruit which expands to include very gentle and soft smoke.

Finish: Quite dry, slight peat and smoke at the end with just the faintest hint of coconut.

Overall Impression: A very smooth, sophisticated and civilised Talisker.

Trying this one again at Munich whisky fair 2011:

Glass: Whisky fair glass

Colour: Rich gold, light amber

Nose: Toffee, herbs, quite fresh sea-air and lightly medicinal

Palate: Fruity with a hint of figs.

With 4 drops of water: The nose is fruitier whereas the palate becomes slightly salty offering a delightful maritime character along with oats.

With 4 more drops of water: The nose now gets that salty maritime character and the palate is maybe slightly too watery now, although it does exhibit some fruity and maritime characteristics.

Finish. medium to long, longer with water.

Overall Impression: A very good whisky!



Talisker, 25y, 58.1% ABV

Bottle No. 5509 of 6894

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Rich yellow gold

Nose: Honey, light butterscotch, Atlantic sea-air and faintly smoky.

Palate: Quite sweet, fruity with plums and figs, herbs and that unmistakable Atlantic coastal countryside.

With 5 drops of water: Toffee and butterscotch sitting on an Atlantic beach.

With 5 more drops of water: A very maritime nose with malty, salty sea-air whilst the palate enjoys black pepper, figs and plums.

Finish. Long, longer and more peppery with water.

Overall Impression: Nice, very nice!



Talisker, 25y, bottled 2011, 45.8% ABV

"Refill Casks", one of 5946 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012

Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Rich glowing cork

Nose: Raspberries in a peach sauce served on a rubber platter. The rubberiness is quite faint whereas the fruitiness dominates.

Palate: Smooth leafiness followed by fruitiness, custard-iness and finally a light suggestion of spent match.

Finish. Long-ish, yes long.

Overall Impression: Interesteing, very interesting. Creamy, fruity, light rubbery peatiness or was that just wood-smokiness? Just missing the point somewhere.



Talisker, 30y, 53.1% ABV

Bottle No. 453 of 3000

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Light yellow gold

Nose: Atlantic sea-air, fruit, butterscotch and malt.

Palate: Black pepper, rich fruit, morning coffee biscuit and slightly bitter.

Finish. Long with lots of that traditional Talisker black pepper.

Overall Impression: Mmmmm, I'm in love!



Talisker, 30y, bottled 2010, 57.3% ABV

Bottle No. 426 of 2958

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Shiny golden cork

Nose: Some vanilla followed by lightly smoked aromatic berries, fresh air, rolling hills and tingly butterscotch.

Palate: Peppery malty biscuit alongside fresh sea-air and open countryside.

Finish. Long-ish peppery fruit.

Overall Impression: Excellent, truly excellent.



Talisker, 30y, bottled 2010, 57.3% ABV

Bottle No. 682 of 2958

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Shiny golden cork

Nose: Vanilla initially evident with some lightly smoked red fruit. Also plenty of fresh country air and light toffee, almost butterscotch. After 5-6 minutes more some almost leafy qualities develop.

Palate: Definite creamy pepperiness. I'm on a coastal walk with sea-air and rolling hills, bracken and lots of outdoor pepperiness.

Finish. Long rich and peppery

Overall Impression: This whisky and the one above here were both tasted (blind) as part of MMA 2011 and yes, two bottles of the same were sneaked into the competition. Yes also, both are truly excellent!





Talisker (OB) Special Editions


Talisker, 12y, 45.8% ABV

Limited Edition bottled in 2007 for the Friends of Classic Malts

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Warm gold, not quite amber.

Nose: A cosy winter evening around a warm peat fire, with hints of Atlantic freshness.

Palate: Creamy and not so much raw peat as peat-flavoured ice cream.

Finish: Long, warming, smooth peat.

Overall Impression: A most enjoyable Talisker. Really enjoyable!

Revisited at Munich whisky fair 2011:

Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Rich gold, light amber

Nose: An initial burst of light roast pork took me by surprise here but this soon receded to honey and vanilla ice cream.

Palate: Slightly sharp, almost bitter with star fruit, an Italian herb mixture and that ever-present Atlantic sea-air.

Finish: Long, fresh and just slightly bitter.

Overall Impression: Nice, but what a very different Talisker!



Talisker, 57N, 57% ABV

Special Strength Talisker

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Amber in sunlight

Nose: Very fresh with lots of Atlantic sea-air and salt. After a few minutes a little rubber and extremely faint smoke come to join the party. After yet more time, the salt disappears from the nose.

Palate: Rich, creamy rubbery peat with a slight coconut burst as the finish kicks in.

With 4 drops of water: A slightly sweeter, smokier nose. Also a smoother palate with a little more smoke and a very strange burst of coconut which appears and then disappears in an instant.

With 3 more drops of water: Coconut and peat, especially on the finish.

Finish: Long. Coconut and peat, increased with the water.

Overall Impression: A most unusual, but most enjoyable Talisker. That coconut confused me initially, but yes, it really is there and increases slightly with water. A very good, but different Talisker.



Talisker, 57N, 57% ABV

Special Strength Talisker

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed as part of MMA 2011


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Bright oak

Nose: This begins with faint juniper, then expands to an open-air swimming pool and lightly smoked or air-dried ham. A light flora slowly develops but the whole experience always remains light and fresh.

Palate: Much more intense than the nose suggests as the palate offers peppered honey, light smoke, bracken and a hint of earthiness.

Finish. Very long with sweet pepperiness.

Overall Impression: Marvellous, not quite a "Great" but not very far away. Try it!



Talisker, Managers Choice, 58.6% ABV

Talisker from the Managers Choice range of 27 single cask bottlings

Cask No. 7147, Bottle No. 432 of 582 bottles

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Bugatti Kelch

Colour: Light, fresh 9 carat gold

Nose: I'm immediately transported to an Isle of Skye jetty in Spring

Palate: Immediate cream, quickly opening to smoke, peat, apple and pear, then on to liquorice.

With 4 drops of water: Yet more intense smoke and peat and even more 'jetty', Oh to be there with the Atlantic right now! The palate is much smoother and a little drier.

Finish: Never ending, dry, smoke, peat and liquorice.

Overall Impression: Fantastic. A great Talisker! (But at what price?)




Talisker, 175th Anniversary, bottled 2005, 45.8% ABV

Limited Edition to commemmorate 175 years of Talisker distillery

Typical cost of this bottle;


Glass: Glencairn

Colour: Light amber

Nose: Lots of vanilla and creme brulee, then dusty raspberries, smoky bacon crisps and a hint of mesquite.

Palate: A lovely creamy mouth-feel before all the elements of the nose combine alongside a hint of black pepper to delight the palate.

Finish. Long smoky and peppery

Overall Impression: Fine indeed. An excellent Talisker.






Talisker, Distiller's Edition, 2000-2011, 45.8% ABV

Typical cost of this bottle;

Reviewed (blind) as part of MMA 2012


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Deep, dark amber

Nose: This starts slowly with something lightly floral and then it intensifies with a leatheriness and fruity earthiness. Finally a maritime peaty rubberiness builds.

Palate: Much more intense than the nose with wood, leather, exotic fruit and a hint of citrus.

Finish. Long with that citrus element right at the end.

Overall Impression: I do like the mixture of woodiness, fruitiness, leatheriness and a touch of citrus. Quite different for a Talisker but most enjoyable.





Talisker (OB) Discontinued or older Expressions


Talisker, 10y, 45.8% ABV

Old 'Western Isles Map' presentation

Typical cost of this bottle; originally now to


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Aged oak, amber

Nose: This is a Talisker which again transports me back to the Isle of Skye. Just imagine standing on a slightly misty jetty on the Atlantic coast, wearing wellington boots, clogged with peaty mud on an Autumnal day.

Palate: Smooth, creamy, peppery peat. A definitive and classic Talisker.

Overall Impression: A magnificent trip down memory lane as I experience just how good Talisker 10y used to be. Marvellous!




  Independent Bottlers    

G&M, Talisker, distilled 1955, 38y, 53.6% ABV

Voted No. 6 in my all-time 'Top 10' whiskies!

Typical cost of this bottle;


Colour: Dark, liquid raisins

Nose: Raisins, prunes, rich old oak and a hint of molasses.

Palate: Wow! This is rich and smooth. It has everything promised by the nose; raisins, prunes and currants, but much more too as it expands into an unbelievable Christmas Pudding flavour. I want to say it also has nuts and marzipan, but not quite. Those can be delicate flavours but there is nothing delicate about this dram. It is full-power, in your face and totally UN-subtle. If I were given this blind, I would probably never guess it was a Talisker, but I would say it was old, maybe older than the 38y that it is. I have tried the 40y Dalmore and I may suggest this were a similar dram, but even older.

With water: Just a few drops of water in about 2cl brings out more oak on the nose. As for flavour; possibly even more intense, but smoother. It is almost toasted raisins!

Overall Impression: Wonderful! A real experience. dark, rich and unbelievably powerful in flavour.



D. Laing 'OMC', Tactical, distilled Dec. 1980, 25y, 50% ABV

Special mention and only just outside my all-time 'Top 10' whiskies!

Typical cost of this bottle;

Picture shows standard 'OMC' presentation and is not this Tactical bottling


Nose: Smoke, pepper and hints of ginger with just a dash of peat.

Palate: Luxuriously smooth mixture of honey, smoke, oats and malt.

Overall Impression: Excellent, I love this one!



The Nectar 'Daily Dram', Undercover No. 2, 24y. 1984-2008, 51.9% ABV

Allegedly from Talisker.

Typical cost of this bottle; Originally


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Gold

Nose: Big, rich, intrusive cocktail of new paint, tobacco, coffee beans and eventually some smoke with slight hints of peat.

Palate: Initially slightly smoky coffee truffle with some chocolate and eventually, rich dark fruits, maybe even dried fruits like currants.

With 4 drops of water in 2cl: The nose is now much more 'maritime' with salt and slightly stale sea-air, or even a stale harbour. The palate is very round with the coffee and chocolate still in abundance, but the maritime elements are also fighting for prominence.

Finish: Very long, but never-ending with the added water!

Overall Impression: Where did it all go? Bloody marvellous, where can I get more?



G&M, Talisker, distilled 1953, 24y

Original cost of this bottle; Unknown


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Dark, very dark.

Nose: Very aromatically sweet, mildly woody then a further fragrant sweetness that reminds me of those sweet stands in fairs which sell chocolate coconut sticks in different fruit flavours.

Palate: Sweet floral (pink!) candy floss. It's just so delicate in flavour, amazing.

Finish: Long, sweet and floral.

Overall Impression: Light, delicate, intense, it'S a "Great" Wow!







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