Established in 1830 by brothers Hugh MacAskill of Eigg and Kenneth MacGaskill, Talisker whisky has been made by the sea in the oldest Single Malts Scotch Whisky distillery on the shores of the Isle of Skye, some of the most remote, rugged, yet beautiful landscapes in Scotland. The name Talisker comes from the old Norse for Sloping Rock, ‘Thalas Gair’.
Talisker’s smell and taste instantly connect the drinker with its rugged coastal heritage, described as “a wild spirit by the sea”, for wild spirits everywhere. Its intense character comes from the fresh water drawn directly from underground springs next to the distillery, two very distinctive wash stills and wooden worm tub condensers which, along with its unusual ABV of 45.8%, help set Talisker apart from other malts.
Nose: A fresh and fragrant nose. Through thick, pungent smoke comes sweet pear and apple peels, with pinches of maritime salt from kippers, seaweed.
Palate: It’s a bonfire of peat crackling with black pepper, with a touch of brine and dry barley. A welcome delivery of orchard fruit provides a delicate and beautiful balance.
Finish: In a long finish, bonfire embers toast malt and crystallise a sugary underlay.
Palate: Thick and mouth-coating with wood smoke, brine, some tin and chilli heat too.
Finish: Red chilli peppers and oak dryness with a hint of embers.
Overall: A welcome addition to the Talisker range, and probably the smokiest whisky to be produced on the Isle of Skye.
Nose: First impressions are led by a sweet seaside vibe: seaweed, iodine, crystallised citrus fruit and charred meat. After a while, molasses and stewed tropical fruits come through, along with a wisp of smoke.
Palate: Silky smooth and mouth-filling, with prickles of that characteristic Talisker pepperiness. The fruit becomes more caramelised, and the smoke becomes more bonfire-like, but the nose and palate are beautifully aligned.
Finish: Long and warming, with the pepper turning more chilli-like, wrapped up in gentle smoke.
Overall: An unusual Talisker with the rum cask influence, and absolutely one to add to the must-try list.