To Reach the Skye – The Sublime Talisker 30

After yesterday’s post on the Talisker 25, which caused quite an emotional stir (most of which was of readers mentioning a similar experience with the 25, but not only), we come to the final stop in the Talisker series – The venerated 30 year old, and the top of the core range. We’re talking about a whisky which is released in batches of 3000 or so, basically on a yearly basis, but I guess batches are made according to demand, and I don’t think there was a release in 2014. Here too, you can use the number of bottles to discern which batch it is using‘s database.

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Originally, both the 25 and the 30 year old Taliskers were part of Diageo’s annual Special Releases series, and at that point they were released at cask strength. Both were taken off “special release” status in 2011 and reduced to 45.8% ABV, now part of the core range of the distillery.

This bottle, by the way, is a perfect illustration of the power of whisky clubs. To augment our MMI Whisky Club‘s Talisker evening, Tomer Goren arranged to bring the 30 year old as an ending to the IBBL Spirits presentation of the Storm, 10, Distiller’s Edition, 18 and 25. This is a bottle that you would probably not buy on your own just to taste, but tasting it becomes very feasible in a club.

This expression is everything you’d hope for in a 30 year old. Complex and layered, delicate yet very much alive, this is a fabulous dram.


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Talisker 30 Year Old (2013 – Batch of 3738 Bottles), (45.8% ABV)

Appearance: Copper, slow and rather thick legs.

Nose: Delicate and gentle with honey and wood spices (cinnamon, clove and allspice), oranges, light and subdued peat (like a peat fire from afar), a musty note. Faint salt, which gets stronger as time goes on in the glass, and honeysuckle flowers. Smoked meat appears on the nose after leaving glass covered for a while and coming back to it.

Palate: Here’s the peat! This is old peat with notes of citrus, honey, Talisker’s signature pepperiness comes through with some clove and a certain freshness, defying the three decade slumber in oak.

Linger: Very long. Light peat lodges in the back of the throat. Orange, pepper and cardamom take residence on the tongue with a lovely light bitterness. Smoke and salt come out after the sweetness dissipates. This is a very complex and layered finish, with an overall lightly mouth drying effect.


WOW, this is really almost all I could ask for in a 30 year old.

Why “almost” you ask? I can just imaging what this would be like at cask strength.