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Talisker Storm and the Rebirth of NAS Whisky


In recent years people worldwide have been drinking whisky of all types at a nearly exponential rate, so much so that distilleries are having a hard time keeping up with production. One thing people have clung to for the last few decades when purchasing, drinking, describing, and recommending high-end whisky is the age statement on the bottle. 10, 12, 18, and 21 year single malt scotch have become household staples when evaluating how special a whisky is. However, to meet demand, many new types of single malt are void of age statements of any kind. We call these NAS (Non Age Statement) Whiskies. Around 90% of all whiskies around the world are NAS and single malts are the new frontier. An age statement on a bottle is indicative of the youngest whisky in the blend. Take Glenlivet 12 year for example: all the malt in the blend is at least 12 years old. This is why most countries and some U.S. markets now have Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, their new NAS version (soon to hit the Minnesota market). Products like this allow for more shelf stability, but also give the distillers and blenders more room to explore and create unique takes on their signature malts, blending the old with the young.


Talisker Storm hit the U.S. market in the spring of 2013. It was greeted with a mix of excitement from fans and skepticism from traditionalists, marketed as a bolder version of Talisker’s signature 10 year with more maritime sea salt, smoke, and sweetness. There are many aspects besides age statements that affect the end product. Two major elements are the types of casks (ex-bourbon, sherry, port, rum, etc.) and the land from which the malt is distilled and aged. Talisker Storm definitely falls into the latter category as this is the perfect example of an island scotch with almost spicy sea salt, billowing smoke, and light toffee sweetness: classic Talisker in profile, only much bigger. In the winter of 2013, Talisker Storm won Highland/Island Single Malt of the Year, as successful a debut as possible. Priced at $60 (equal to its classic 10 year counterpart), the whisky did not seem to catch anyone’s attention, so now, to prove to everyone Talisker Storm’s quality, we have it at the low price of $37.99. With the overall price of scotch as high as it is right now, there is no better deal out there. Come on in and try this beautifully complex single malt on the tasting bar, perfect for the fall season!