Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Talisker whisky is currently the only single malt distilled on the Isle of Skye and is classified as part of the Island Single malt Scotch Whisky family. The name comes from the Gaelic “Thallas Geir”, which means “land of stones” or “sloping rock”, a reference to the distillery’s location outside the seaside village of Carbost.
Talisker has been making whisky since 1831 and the distillery itself has had a chequered history: Extensively renovated between 1880 and 1900, the Victorian distillery was destroyed in a catastrophic fire in 1960, along with Talisker’s unique stills. Fortunately, Talisker were able to re-construct five precise replicas of the lost copper stills so that the whisky’s unique character and charm were not lost when the distillery was rebuilt. One of the unusual features of Talisker’s stills is their swan neck lye pipes – there is a loop in pipes taking the alcoholic vapour from the still to the worm tubs. This means that some of the vapour condenses into alcoholic spirit before it even gets to the cooling pipes. This “premature distillate” slips back down the swan neck into the still, and so is distilled again.
Talisker is a very highly peated whisky and so shares some characteristics with some of the Islay whiskies. This is due both to the malted barley and to the water used by the distillery. The barley, sourced from the Muir of Ord, is peated to a high phenol level. The water which springs from the Cnoc nan Speireag wells above the distillery takes on a strong peatiness as it flows down from the high ground, adding a distinctive character to the whisky.
Talisker was once said to be a favourite whisky of “Treasure island” author Robert Louis Stevenson and it retains its status as a classic malt whisky today. The World Whiskies Awards bestowed the “Best Single Malt in the World” accolade on Talisker for their 18 year old bottling in 2007.
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