Talisker Dark Storm NAS 45.8%

Many whisky distillers are chasing after that elusive ‘different’ element. Some succeed, many do not.

Talisker Dark Storm is the latest Duty Free release in Talisker’s efforts after Talisker Storm.

Another thing we are learning is that the true test of a ‘good’ whisky is not in the initial impression… it is when it settles in… reveals another side… is revisited and even more nuances emerge.

Talisker Dark Storm (Whisky Lady)

Talisker Dark Storm (Whisky Lady)

Talisker Dark Storm 45.8%

We originally tasted this whisky on 14 June 2014 together with Tyrconnell and Ledaig 1997. I re-sampled it in February 2015.

First impression:

  • Colour – Copper
  • Nose – Rubber, leather, caramel, heavy burnt wood
  • Taste – Full-bodied, wet mud, medicinal, more leather, yet smooth with no harshness – in the ‘hoo whee that’s whisky!’ exclaim
  • Finish – Spicy, ash, doesn’t disappear instantly

The unveiling? Surprise! Most were not terribly impressed with earlier Talisker offerings… to learn this was duty-free, no age stated… and actually yummy?!

The stated gimmick is it is matured in heavily charred oak. Hmm…

Second tasting:

Unlike the 1st tasting when the bottle was freshly opened and we quickly snipped, swished, savoured and swallowed, the 2nd round was slightly more leisurely and less complimentary.

Did we get the same notes? More or less… the nose was exceedingly sweet, the medicinal taste seemed to have a vaguely manufactured quality to it. Same with the ash… which dominated both the palate and finish.

The other elements seemed considerably more subdued, less nuanced the longer it had time to breathe. If anything, it became increasingly ‘flat’ like pop loosing its fizz. Yet the ash remained.

Overall assessment

Given the unrelenting ash element and the highlighting the charred oak casks (um… aren’t they all?), clearly Talisker achieved its aim of celebrating burnt wood.

Does it work?

While certainly different from the Talker 10 year, it makes for more of a social gathering whisky than a top choice for an evening at home with a true whisky afficianado.

Up close with Talisker Dark Storm (Whisky Lady)

Up close with Talisker Dark Storm (Whisky Lady)

Other brushes with Talisker:

You can also find Whisky Lady in India on:

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