Sweet, maybe a little citris with mild smoked peat on the nose. The real distinction from the Talisker 10 shows when it hits your palate. A sweet entry, with an allspice accompaniment, transitioning to pepper with a smoke lingering. It lays on your tongue, a slight oily coating – mixing the pepper and smoke. This leads to a medium to long finish, dry and not burning.
I find this to be a more balanced, smooth, mature whisky in contrast to the Talisker 10. I think you get a better quality dram with the 18, but then again you should for about twice the price of the 10. It is a more seductive whisky to be sure and, for me, worth the extra cost.
Talisker 18 was selected as the Best Whisky in the World at the 2007 World Whiskies Awards. I do not know if I would name it as one of my top 5, but it would likely compete for a spot in the top 10.