Extra time in cask has mellowed but not tamed the powerful character of this 18 year old Talisker, made beside Loch Harport in the jagged shadow of the Cuillin range. Rich, sweet fruit on the nose introduces gradually smokier, more maritime aromas that devotees will swiftly recognise. Full-bodied, this pleasingly smooth expression opens sweetly on the palate, then becomes more assertive, with a whiff of smoke. It has an unmistakeable, richly warming finish, more subtle here than in the 10 year old. Founded in 1830, the distillery keeps faith with traditional values. Surviving a disastrous fire in 1960, it was rebuilt around exact copies of the old pot stills and worm tubs, preserving a method of distillation found nowhere else. Today, Talisker is for many the complete, even the only single malt.