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Back in 1830, brothers Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill acquired a lease for Talisker House from the local MacLeod clan chief. In an attempt to create a successful family business they built a distillery at Carbost but found the going tough and by 1848 they were forced to relinquish control of the site to their lenders.
The decades that followed saw ownership of the distillery change hands from one to the next before it was taken on by one Roderick Kemp in 1880. Kemp oversaw expansion, including the construction of a pier which provided better access to ships that were so vital to the trading success of an island distillery. After setting the business on a solid footing, Kemp sold his shares in 1892, using the money to take ownership of the Macallan distillery on Speyside.
As for Talisker, the distillery was almost completely destroyed when a devastating fire, started by an open valve on the spirit still, ripped through the Still house. It took two years to rebuild but the stills were soon flowing once again.
Today, the distillery produces one of the most sought-after single malt brands in the world, treasured by blenders and connoisseurs alike for its bold, peppery character. A wide range of different expressions are available, with one of the more recent additions to the core range being the Talisker Storm, a No Age Statement malt that debuted in 2013, offering a younger, feistier alternative to the beloved 10 year old.
Smell: Peat Smoke, Pepper, Vanilla and Brine with some Apple, Orange and a touch of Oak.
Taste: Honey with Orange, tons of Pepper and a decent dose of Smoke, also Apple and a little Berry.
Value for Money: Should be around £40. Talisker fans will not be disappointed while its wilder nature is unlikely to convert the non-believer.
A young, almost aggressive alternative to the traditional 10 year old. Works for me.
*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.