Talisker Storm is, in many ways, the exact opposite of the Skye (reviewed here). While the Skye is meant to be a soft and gentle introduction to the Talisker lineup, the Storm (and by extension also the Dark Storm) is extremely maritime and smoky, and definitely conjures up images of a storm.
This isn’t the first Talisker NAS, as it was preceded by the 57 North (reviewed here) at strength and the port finished Port Ruighe (reviewed here). This Skye/Storm move, however, is probably part of a major attempt by Talisker to take the bulk of the sales off the staple 10 year old, which would in turn free up stocks already at that age point for the future bottlings of older expressions. Thus, every bottle sold of the Skye, Storm and the travel retail Dark Storm is a bottle less of 10 year old stock without loss of profit for Diageo. If this marketing move works (and it probably will, as Diageo marketing guys definitely know their job), prices on the 10 year old will eventually rise from the entry level £32/$50 to a price more “appropriate” to the third rung up the ladder, starting at £39 pricing of the Skye. Another possible strategy, which seems to be the currnet plan under implementation, would be to price the Skye and the Storm at the same “entry level” pricing, and letting the consumer choose between “gentle and soft” and “briny and harsh” for roughly the same price.
Either way, I expect that the Talisker 10 will see a 30%-50% price increase in the next two years, and if I had to bet on it, I’d be looking at the start of 2016 as a real target date.
Talisker Storm (45.8% ABV)
Appearance: Amber with slow and thin legs.
Nose: Peat and salt come out very intensely in this noticibly youngish spirit with scents of a distand barbeque whafting in. The salt is very strong and dominant. Strangely, the expression has sherry like notes to it, which combine nicely with the salt. Additonally, there’s a peppery spice on the nose.
Palate: Salty sea, kelp, sherry, pepper and some honey are all present in this mouth filling whisky.
Linger: Mouth drying with notes of sherry and pepper, a lot of spice lingering on the tongue. This long linger will leave a lovely tannic dryness in the mouth.
This whisky definitely delivers on its name. It’s salty and very smoky, more intense, albeit noticeably younger, than the 10 year old. Overall, this is an expression that merits its inclusion in the Talisker lineup.