Full, pleasant and smooth, Talisker 18 Year Old Scotch is an impressive single malt from one of Scotland's greatest distilleries. The whisky is rich and fruity – victoria plums, greengages, perhaps dried orange peel – with hints of butterscotch or rum toffee and a thread of smoke behind. The smoke soon advances into the foreground and the toffee note is joined by a light mintiness. Water maritime characteristics soon emerge – dry boat varnish, edible seaweed. It is still sweet, but now with notes of iodine and the smokiness of an un-struck match.
On the palate, there is an overall warming effect. It is sweet in front, then more assertive, with a whiff of smoke. The development is towards smoke, coal-tar and toffee. Talisker’s characteristic chilli ‘catch’ is subtly present in the finish.