NO WHISKY IS AN ISLAND

Naming a whisky after the most beautiful island in the world takes some living up to and Bill Watt reckons the Talisker distillery's Skye Single Malt Scotch Whisky just about gets there.

I'VE been to Scotland's Isle of Skye twice, and each time have vowed to return. It is simply the most stunningly beautiful place in the world.

The rugged majesty of the mountains, lochs, cliff faces and monoliths; the old-world beauty of the towns and villages; and the historic magnificence of the island's castles make Skye a unique must-see place worthy of anyone's bucket list.

And, funnily enough the island's most famous distillery - Talisker - makes a half decent drop of the good stuff.

Now in the past I've tried one or two of the Talisker expressions including Port Ruigh and Storm (both very bloody excellent drams), but until now had not tasted the whisky named after the island where the Talisker distillery lives.

So, seeing a bottle of Talisker Skye at my local for a very reasonable $70, I thought, why not? After all, if it went even close to my experience of that amazing island, it was going to be a decent little nightcap.

And so it proved to be, although maybe not quite living up to the distiller's claim that "every sip is a taste of the Isle of Sky itself". If that was the case, this whisky would be the nectar of the gods themselves.

My basic tasting notes (and basic is pretty much what you get from me) is that the nose (aroma) is a little more subtle than some island whiskies with a slight cinnamon or pepper fragrance; with the taste exhibiting a slight peatiness, some salty/smokiness, with a hint of citrus and nutmeg. More importantly, I really enjoyed its mellow, if not overly complex, flavour.

The Talisker website describes the whisky as having "a well-rounded and sweet flavour profile packed with fresh citrus, sweet smoke, peppery spice and traditional Talisker maritime notes". Well, not too far from my amateur interpretation, if you translate "maritime notes" to "salty".

Talisker's Skye expression was only introduced in 2015, which makes you wonder why it took so long for the marketers of the brand to work out that the name of the majestic island is a marketing delight.

After all, the island has been a famed tourist destination ever since Jacobite rebel Bonnie Prince Charlie escaped the clutches of the nasty English by dressing as a lassie and escaping "over the sea to Skye", as in the famous traditional song, more recently adapted as the theme music of hit TV series Outlander.

Anyway, I'd better wrap this up, so I can enjoy a dram ... to cut to the chase, the island's namesake whisky is certainly no disappointment. Does it live up to the dramatic standards of its island namesake? The answer is probably "no". But it makes a decent fist of it, and I reckon it could convert many an island visitor to the wonders of quality Scottish whisky.



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