Talk ‘Isle of Skye’ and up pops ‘Talisker’ – the oldest, working distillery sitting comfortably on the shores by the sea. The Dark Storm, a recent entry to the distilleries’ stables is a step up to the existing Talisker Storm promising heaps of smoke, supposedly the smokiest from its current array of whiskies – thanks to the heavily charred oak barrels.
Being a maritime brew, you would naturally assume the whisky to be heavily peated, but funny enough that isn’t the case. Whiskies from the region aren’t as peated as the Islay, but still does incorporate maritime notes, with a fair bit of peat. To the eye, it appears the charred oak maturation may have done wonders, but there’s a fair bit of caramel colouring that gives you this illusion and a fair bit of chill filtration that makes it clear at lower temperatures.
Nose : Dark chocolate infused with caramel, peat and sun-dried tomatoes. Charred wood and red apples, coconut shavings and dates followed by hints of licorice, ginger shavings and black pepper.
Taste : An amalgamation of vanilla, caramel toffee, honey and dark raisins with traces of malted barley and corn. A mild astringency is followed by cocoa and charred oak with a sprinkle of pepper and cinnamon.
Finish : Medium | Dark grapes, red apples and pepper spice.
The Talisker Dark Storm reminds me of roasted honey chicken and charred wood straight from the barbecue. It has layers of caramel sweetness infused with char and spice, quite inviting. The sweetness can be a bit overwhelming for a few and the finish shorter than you would expect. In terms of complexity the expression is competent but I would have loved a bit more pizzazz; but I’m not complaining.
Priced at around AUD $100 at travel retail stores, this is a decent dram that is smooth on the palate with little to no burn. It being a NAS whisky really doesn’t bother me, and if it doesn’t bother you, I would advise you give this guy from the Isle of Skye a try!!