Nose: Rich and unexpectedly honeyed initially. Then some pleasing singed oaky notes and bandagey aromas. Now bonfire smoke comes through. There even seems to be some milk chocolate and appley fruit lurking in the rear. Everything in place; all very promising.
Palate: Medium-full, the usual Diageo polished mouthfeel, with initial honey and then a very decent dose of hot smoke. The oak is there too, with vanilla and some (actually quite polite) peppery spices. The young whisky component is well-masked and the whole is rather more restrained in terms of mouthfeel than I expected, but the flavour intensity is, in my opinion, unarguably greater than the standard Talisker 10, which to be honest I have found surprisingly tame of late. Gets sweeter towards the death as the pepper lingers, counterpointed with unexpected sweet fruit and even a note of strawberry liquorice which somehow works very well.
Finish: Woody and spicy without becoming bitter. Good length. Sweetness returns at the death.
Comment: As a NAS malt, perhaps this isn't one for the purists - but as a good-quality drinking whisky in its price range, it probably deserves to be.
Nose: Salty (as you'd hope), with lime and orange peels, touches of mud and pine, damp blankets, woody spice and some caramel sweetness hiding underneath. Behind all of it is a layer of woody smoke, maybe with a few leaves thrown onto the fire for good measure.
Palate: Sweet and syrupy up front, quickly followed by ferns and bitter woody bark in a bit of a balancing act. Riding along with that is prickly white pepper, rock pool brine, a touch of sweet fruit and a nice waxiness. Again behind everything, standing a little separate but waving at all of the other flavours is woody smoke - beach bonfires and pungent peat.
Finish: Warm and peppery with some sweet dark wood.
Comment: Does what it says on the tin - regular Talisker (salty, smoky and a little bit sweet) turned up a bit (saltier, smokier and a little bit sweeter in places). Unlike the hypothetical NAS whiskies that many people seem to fear (and which generally haven't appeared) this doesn't taste like it's hiding younger spirit behind a flashy label - it's a nice whisky, even if it won't set your world on fire.