is an Island Single Malt Scotch whisky
produced by the Talisker Distillery, Carbost
; the only distillery
on the Isle of Skye
. The distillery is operated by United Distillers and Vintners
, and is marketed as part of their Classic Malts
Talisker is known for its above average peat
content, and "salty" (or "spicy") character. While the brand is generally well-accepted and sells well, the high phenol
level and distinct taste may prove "challenging" for the casual whisky drinker. The distiller began producing special bottlings of the whisky for connoiseurs in the early 2000s, with a 20 and 25 year bottling (where previously only a 10 year and 18 year were available). The 25-year bottling was, despite being more expensive than the 20-year bottling, distributed more widely. Both have proved to be relatively popular.
The malt used is peated to a phenol level of approximately 25 parts per million (ppm), which is quite high. Additionally, the water used for production, from Cnoc nan Speireag, flows over peat which adds additional peatiness to the whisky.
Both Johnnie Walker and Drambuie (a liqueur, not a whisky) use Talisker as a component of their blended drinks; its presence is most notable in Walker's Green Label 15 Year Old Pure Malt.
- 10 years, bottled off-site
- 12 years, only available to Friends of the Classic Malts members
- 18 years, unavailable in some areas
- 20 years, limited run of 9,000 bottles
- 25 years, limited run of 25,000 bottles
- 30 years, limited run of 2,958 bottles
- Distiller's edition, finished in Oloroso casks
The distillery was built in 1830 by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill
, and expanded in 1900. During this early period, the whisky was produced using a triple distilling
method, but changed to the more conventional double distilling in 1928. The distillery was nearly destroyed by fire in 1960, however five exact replicas of the original stills were constructed to preserve the original Talisker flavour.
Talisker was a favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry Vollam Morton.
The distillery operates five stills, two wash stills and three spirit stills. All the stills use worm tubs (condensing coils) rather than a modern condenser, which are believed to give the whisky a "fuller" flavour (itself an indication of higher sugar content).
- Stephan Gabányi (1997). Whisk(e)y. Abbeville Press, Inc.. ISBN 0-7892-0383-9.
- James F. Harris & Mark H. Waymack (1992). Single-malt whiskies of Scotland. Open Court Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8126-9213-6.
- Michael Jackson (1999). Michael Jackson's complete guide to Single Malt Scotch, fourth edition. Running Press Book Publishers. ISBN 0-7624-0731-X.
- Jim Murray (2000). The world whiskey guide. Carlton Books Limited. ISBN 1-84222-006-3.