Talisker 10 vs Talisker 18


Today we’re looking at two bottlings from Talisker’s core range in a battle of the 10yo vs the 18yo. First up…

Talisker 10

Talisker 10

Region: Highlands

ABV: 45.8%

Price: £43

We paused when writing this review as it felt odd listing the region here as Highlands. This is technically true, just ask the SWA if you don’t believe us, but it still feels odd listing Skye’s oldest distillery as a highlander.

Nose

Initially there’s smoke mixed with costal notes. Picture yourself standing on Camas Daraich, the sea breeze on your face, and a beach bonfires in the background. Nosing it again there’s treacle, apricots, COCO sea salt milk chocolate bar, orange rind, and warm plastic.

Palate

On the palate it’s well balanced with wood smoke and sweetness. There’s also caramelised brown sugar, ginger, salt, cream, and cherries.

Nose (with water)

On the nose there’s now a hint of Dunkin smoked vanilla iced latte, some charred wood, tobacco, and caramel.

Palate (with water)

With water now there’s a a briny note, and some peanuts. Very warm medium length, chilli finish on this one.

Conclusion

We’ve been predominantly exploring independent bottlers releases recently, and given there’s not much independently bottled Talisker around it’s been a while since we tried one. This was a mistake on our part as this is a great bottling and worth every penny of the £43 it cost.

Score: 8/10

Talisker 18

Talisker 18

Region: Highland

ABV: 45.8%

Price: £76

Talisker 18 is matured in a mixture of bourbon and sherry casks. It’s also nearly twice the price of the 10yo, but is it worth it?

Nose

Opens with Barr’s orangeade, pear, lavender, tobacco, and rose water. The smoke is there, but it’s very light.

Palate

Lightly roasted coffee, tar, floral notes of verbena and lavender, and sweet caramel sundae. Light chilli and sugar on the finish.

Nose (with water)

Nose with water reveals some sweeter notes, most prominently cream cheese frosting, Wethers originals, and daim bar.

Palate (with water)

Water mellows any of the coffee or chilli, leaving strawberry dessert sauce, and biscoff cookies. There’s now a shorter finish that’s sweeter, but still with a touch of warm chilli.

Conclusion

Like the 10 year old, the 18 year old delivers in spades. You can't go wrong with either of these bottles in our opinion.

Score: 8/10

So which is better?

But which is better you ask? This to us is down to personal preference. Assuming you don’t mind paying the extra cost then ask yourself: do you want a smokier dram? If yes then go for the 10yo. On the other hand if you want a sweeter dram with less smokey/costal notes go for the 18yo.

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

You also might be interested in...

Dornoch Distillery Cask #16 & Dornoch Distillery Cask #54
Dornoch Distillery Cask #16 & Dornoch Distillery Cask #54
It seems as every large independent bottler owns a distillery these days, so find out what the first few casks from Thom
Read More
SMWS Small Batch Full Bloom & SMWS Small Batch Black Oak
SMWS Small Batch Full Bloom & SMWS Small Batch Black Oak
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have been experimenting with small batch blends since their first one released in 2017, h
Read More
Decadent Drinks Old Pulteney 13yo Equinox & Solstice Spring 2022 & Decadent Drinks Equilibrium One 10yo
Decadent Drinks Old Pulteney 13yo Equinox & Solstice Spring 2022 & Decadent Drinks Equilibrium One 10yo
Decadent Drinks, run by Angus MacRaild of WhiskySponge, have been putting out quality casks for a few years now. How do
Read More

Leave a comment