The word “best” sure does get thrown around a lot in the whiskey world. Lord knows I’m guilty of it. But there are bottles of whisk(e)y that do stand out and rise above the scores of other entries in the field. One of those bottles is one of my favorite whiskies of all time, Talisker 25.
I have a deep love for Talisker. It was the first real single malt I was introduced to (by my father-in-law) on my first ever trip to Edinburgh. So the nostalgia factor is through the roof. Then, I ended up going to the Isle of Skye, drinking Talisker 25 in the shadow of The Old Man of Storr while looking out over the sea. Needless to say, my brain is programmed to prefer this whisky.
But there’s more to it than just that. This is a bottle I never hesitate to buy because it’s what I truly want to drink — more than any bourbon, rye, Canadian whisky, or… any other style, frankly. It’s not that I don’t deeply enjoy those whiskeys or love showing them off and leading tastings with friends and all of you. Talisker 25 is just more personal. It’s my whisky. It’s what I reach for at the end of the week or after a long, hard spell. Comfort food, but with whisky.
Let’s dive into what’s in a bottle of Talisker 25. And if this sounds like something you’d dig, click on the price to grab your own bottle.
Average Price: $600
This whisky is a marriage of American bourbon barrels, Spanish sherry casks, and Talisker’s seaside location. The whiskies in this single malt spend a minimum of 25 years resting in old bourbon and sherry barrels a few short steps from the sea in the Isle of Skye. Talisker’s tiny warehouse feels a bit like an old pirate ship that’s seen too many sea battles and that aura is imbued into every barrel as it matures.
This one opens with a note of wet wildflowers next to sweet beeswax candles (unlit) with hints of murky apple cider, creamy chocolate, and a whisper of briny campfire smoke. The taste really brings out the wooden beams of the Talisker warehouse with notes of sea salt next to cobwebs and wet moss that’s all counterpointed by a blossoming wisteria, orange tobacco, and a little bit more of that campfire smoke lurking in the background. The end holds onto the florals as it slowly fades away, leaving you with a wisp of smoke, a mist of sea spray, and a touch of that orange.
The bottle is that classic scotch single malt bottle that feels like it was built to be stored on a roving sea vessel 200 years ago. The real highlight is the box with a velvet cushion. It’s a nice touch that elevates this beyond just glass and cardboard.
This isn’t an either/or whisky. It’s not going to either push you deeper or push you away. This whisky is so well-rounded, soft, and inviting that it can only pull you deeper into the world of subtle single malts and whisky in general.
Is it the best whisky is in the world? Right now, maybe. For my palate, 100 percent. Tomorrow, who knows? That all being said, it’s so rare to find something this refined, dialed, and (relatively) easy to find that will elevate your palate with every single sip. All of that makes it pretty damn special.
100/100 — This is perfect. Or, if it isn’t, I’m not able to think of why.