Bought: ASDA, 6th April 2015
85/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
80.44/100 – Whiskybase (average from 29 member votes)
In recent years the whisky industry has been going through a boom period. More and more whiskies are appearing on supermarket shelves. Imagine you run a whisky distillery famous for a 10-year-old single malt. Back in 2005 there was no way of telling what the demand would be for your 10yo in 2015. You have 2,000 barrels of 10yo spirit ready to be bottled but your sellers want more. What do you do? You have 1000s of barrels containing younger whisky but it has a while before it reaches 10 years. You decide to mix 200 barrels of younger spirit with 1,000 barrels of 10yo and create a new NAS (non age statement) release. Eventually you’ll phase out the 10yo in favour of this new bottling, which is easier for you to produce because you’re no longer tied to a minimum age of 10yo whisky.
OK, so that’s a very simplistic view of the whisky industry but it’s a dilemma that a lot of the distilleries are now facing. Macallan have discontinued their 10yo, 12yo and 15yo bottles in favour of NAS, likewise Glenlivet are phasing out their 12yo for a new ‘Founder’s Reserve’ NAS. Talisker have introduced the ‘Skye’ at a similar price to the famous 10yo, so you have to wonder how long before the 10yo is officially replaced.
The Whiskybase rating for the 10yo is 85.68/100 from 335 member votes compared to 80.44/100 for the ‘Skye’ from 29 member votes. It’s still early days but any new Talisker was always going to struggle to replace the famous 10yo. I just hope that what made Talisker unique to so many of us in the affordable 10yo isn’t lost: drowned by younger spirit to try and keep up with demand.
Here’s Horst Luening with his thoughts about the Talisker Skye on You Tube (April 2015):