Talisker Storm Review

Country: Scotland
Brand: Talisker Storm
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Region: Highland (Island: Skye)
Age: NAS
Alcohol: 45,8%
Tasting Date: 15/09/2013

Colour: Light Gold

Nose: With a name like this I would have expected impressions of Briny Waves full of Foamy Salty Water breaking on the rocks and screaming white Seagulls fighting the Dark and Rolling Thunderclouds above the Isle of Skye. In reality, the Nose of the Storm is not much more than a gentle Breeze of (Tropical) Fruits like Banana, Apricot and Pineapple, Honey, Salted Butter, Malt, Pencil Shavings and Orange Peel in combination with some Leather, Dusty Earth, Wood Smoke, Pepper, Ginger, Mint and hints of BBQ and Band-Aids. It's clear that there are some young spirits included in the Storm and the Alcohol is not completely embedded. When compared to the Talisker 10, the Storm has perhaps a tad more Peat and Salt. 

Taste: On the Thin side despite the relatively high ABV. It is quite Dry and Salty and presents a light Bitterness that could be a result of relaxed Wood Management. I find light Wood Smoke, Dusty Peat, Brine, Grass, Malt, Wax, Leather, Nuts, Honey and Pepper. It's not as diverse as the 10 Years but perhaps slightly more balanced.

Finish: Medium Long, Dry and Salty with (Chili) Pepper, Wood Smoke, Oak, Peat, Ginger and a touch of Honey. Rather forgettable. It's in the Finish that the Storm clearly loses the battle against the 10 Year.

The Talisker Storm does not accept Water very well despite its fiery name.  

Rating: 84,5 

Nose: 21 – Taste: 21.5 – Finish: 21 – Overall: 21

General Remarks: The Talisker distillery is located in Carbost on the shores of Loch Harport on the Isle of Skye. It was founded in 1830 by Hugh - and Kenneth MacAskill and produces 2,6 million litres per year. It’s part of the Diageo Group. The Storm is a new NAS Single Malt released at the beginning of 2013. The Storm costs around 60 US Dollars and is said to have matured in a mix of refill - and rejuvenated casks.

Drinking Experience Neat: Good

Conclusion: The Talisker distillery is part of Diageo. And Diageo takes marketing very seriously. Talisker sales have boomed during the last years. And everybody knows the word-wide success story of Johnny Walker Blue despite it being overpriced and overvalued. But let's go back to Talisker. With the Ten Years they have a standard OB that's quite good although quality has dropped a bit over the years. I would not be surprised if increasing demand for the 10 years was threatening supply. So a short-term solution needed to be found. And that solution could well be the NAS Storm that was introduced with the usual quality marketing of Diageo. Great packaging and presentation that will certainly please potential buyers. "Bring on the Storm" the propaganda screamed. To me this Single Malt seems to be the temporary assistant of the 10 years until supply and demand of the latter are back in balance. But let's go back to the intrinsic quality of the Storm. When compared to the Nose of the 10 years, the Storm is slightly more Peaty and Salty but also younger and a bit edgy. On the Palate the Storm is actually quite smooth but shows less character than the 10 Years. And while the Finish of the 10 years is something you will remember for the rest of your life, the Finish of the Storm is smooth but quite forgettable. All this leads me to the conclusion that, while the Talisker Storm is not a bad Single Malt, it is actually not much more than a Storm in a Teacup! 

Jan van den Ende                                                      September 2013 


Whiskycuse said...

"Storm in a Teacup", that´s it Jan! Perfect description for this malt. I am right there with you. Enough said...;-)


Jan van den Ende said...

Good to see us agree on this one Marcus! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Got it for Christmas and opened on Hogmany...fair brawl... in fact it's so good I'm having another before New Years steak pie dinner�� Happy New Year

Jan van den Ende said...

Hi there, Thanks for commenting! Glad you liked it. You might try out some other Talisker if you haven't as yet! I like the 10 Years better than the Storm for instance! Have a Great 2015!!!!