Talisker 10 has always been a bang for yor buck, a great whisky at a fair price – and it still is. Rumour has it that the older versions are a bit better than today’s releases from Skye. In general this is true for many distilleries. I am going to review two ‚Split Label‘ versions to find out. I have the 2011 Talisker 10 at 89+ points.
Talisker 10 y.o. OB ‚Split Label‘ (bottled around 1887), 45,8%
Comment: A modern classic. Wonderfully coastal with fresh sea air, salt, oysters, peat, pepper and a subtle fruitiness (pears, peaches, apples, lemon squash) in the background. Also pine needles and resin, iodine, soot, farmyardy notes and discrete oak. Altogether this one is a bit Brora-esque (with the smell of rain coming in from the sea), which is a good thing. In perfect balance. On the palate it is just as lively, balanced and complex and finishes on all the notes mentioned in soft echoes.
Talisker 10 y.o. OB ‚Split Label‘ for Da Bema (Italy), distilled late 1970ies/early 1980ies, 75cl, 45,8%
Comment: The Italian version is said to be even better, and it is older than the version from above. Let’s see: This one plays it closer to the chest at first, deeper in tone and less vibrant, briny and salty in fact a bit dead in the glass. Wake up, honey! Some earthy aromas limp out of the glass, also pickles. Strange. After ten minutes, the fruit, peat and pepper are coming out with whiffs of mahogani wood, also some coffee beans, heather and some malty tones. Don’t rush this one! It keeps on evolving. Unfortunately it drinks a bit like a good old blend, no real chili catch or other things associated with this great Skye Malt – however, it is very oily, if that style is yours. Just a good dram, but nothing more. Was that sample taken from a tired bottle? I will check … I am a bit surprised.