The Gem of Skye – Talisker 18

With the Islay festival behind us, and having reviewed eight Feis ile bottlings, it’s time to return to the second half of our Talisker series, which runs up the age stated part of the Talisker lineup, and we get to start with my favorite Talisker of them all, the 18 year old.

I’m not starting with the 10 year old as I have already reviewed it here.

The Old Man of Storr Photo Credit: George Widman, Philadelphia

The Old Man of Storr
Photo Credit: George Widman, Philadelphia

As I mentioned in one of the NAS posts earlier in the series, it seems that the whole NAS move by Talisker was made in order to protect aged stocks to ensure that the 10, 18, 25 and higher aged stocks can continue to be produced. I’ve had the Talisker 18 several times, and I was delighted to see it as part of the MMI-Malt Mongers Israel Talisker tasting by IBBL Spirit’s Adaya Lange we had last month.

MMI Talisker Night Photo Credit: Shai Gilboa

MMI Talisker Night
Photo Credit: Shai Gilboa

The 18 year old is, to me, the pinnacle of the “normal” range (including the 25) with a nearly perfect balance, definitely a top 10 dram for me.

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Talisker 18 year old (45.8% ABV)

Appearance: Amber, slow and thin legs.

Nose: Very light smoke, citrus flowers, saltiness, pepper, honey, wood spice with some nutmeg an clove.

Palate: Peat, lemon, orange, pepper, cardamom, and the lightest notes of sherry. Full bodied with something very fresh about this whisky.

Linger: Long with pepper and light smoke, with some citrus notes, tangy on the sides of the cheeks, and very long in the back of the throat.


The balance on this dram is just fabulous, and it’s definitely on my top 10 “whiskys to always own a bottle” list.

With current exchange rates where they are, price ranges in the UK and US are pretty much the same running at about £75/$115, this bottle offers a very good value for money. In Europe, price levels are slightly higher.



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