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Talisker distillery was founded by Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill back in 1830 in Carbost, Skye. The brothers were businessmen who acquired the lease for Talisker House and the surrounding land from the MacLeod of MacLeod. They immediately set about evicting the local population to make way for sheep farming and to clear land for their distillery.
The MacAskills fell a little short of success however and the distillery was under the control of the bank by 1848. A series of ownership takeovers followed until some stability was finally gained under the leadership of Roderick Kemp who acquired the distillery in 1880 and immediately expanded production capacity. Kemp himself sold his share in Talisker in order to buy The Macallan distillery in Speyside but by then he had steadied the ship and plotted a course for the future.
Talisker was acquired by DCL in 1925, themselves now part of Diageo and today this Skye distillery produces one of the most recognised and beloved single malt brands in the world. Since 1998, the 10 year old expression has been part of Diageo’s Classic Malts range but for this review, I’m going to be focusing on Talisker Skye – a 2015 release which aims to show a softer side to this famously rugged island malt.
Smell: The familiar Talisker Pepper is there, though less prominent than normal, there’s Brine also with Vanilla, Apple & Pear and a gentle waft of Smoke.
Taste: Vanilla, Orange, Apple, Pepper, Sea Salt and a touch of Smoke.
Value for Money: Around £40 a bottle. Sometimes discounted in supermarket chains. A decent dram for the price.
Like a slightly toned down version of the 10 year old – less pepper and less smoke – maybe a little less Talisker though? Remains a pleasant coastal dram in any case.
*If the whisky reviewed in this article has caught your eye, you can buy it from Master of Malt here. Please be aware that as an affiliate I can be paid a small commission on any purchases you make after following links from my page. The whisky is also available from several other excellent retailers.