Talisker is a Scotch single malt whisky distillery that’s been located on the shores of the Isle of Skye in Scotland for nearly 200 years. It has a strong brand connection to the maritime around its home, so much so it has its name on the annual transatlantic Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Now, in a nod to this, it has released a special expression influenced by this ocean crossing.
The new Talisker 43-Year-Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge, according to those behind it, was finished in casks that included wooden staves that traversed the Atlantic. Renowned adventurer James Aiken undertook a 3,264 mile journey across the Atlantic, following the same route of the rowers of the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. On board his yacht he carried the staves that later made up portions of the 10 casks used for this release.
“Most of my life is focused on the ocean, and the variety of ways that we can interact and learn from it,” said Aiken in a prepared statement. “This expedition taught me even more and allowed me to connect with nature’s elements in an entirely new way. Over twenty-four days, sailing from La Gomera, Spain, to the island of Antigua, I crossed the Atlantic solo aboard my boat Oaken Yarn. I cared for the wooden staves aboard ensuring their safe passage. The crossing was an almost meditative experience in nature: both challenging and a joy.”
“This whisky is a sublime single malt that captures the pinnacle of the key aromas of Talisker – spice, sweetness, waxy and creamy, with a sense of the sea salt spray the morning after a storm,” added Ewan Gunn, Senior Global Brand Ambassador. “The four decades of maturation have given a full flavor, yet a softness to this bold dram resulting in a rounded and elegant experience.”
The new release will be available globally from May from whisky specialists. The Suggested Retail Price is $4,000 for a 750ml bottle, and each of the 1,830 bottles will be accompanied by a piece of one of the staves. Official tasting notes for this 49.7% ABV whisky can be found below.
- Appearance: Deep clear amber. Excellent beading.
- Nose: Mellow overall and very slightly spicy, with a fruity top note of bruised apple and a smooth, aromatic hint of wax. Beneath these scents lie immediately intriguing and unexpectedly rich layers of aroma; the urge to explore them more deeply is irresistible. Adventure awaits as you do; notes of canvas and varnished wood mingle with maritime hints of sea-air and warm sand. They swirl above a faintly smoky, still waxy base that is the calm eye of the storm, the waves now lapping at warm sand. The aroma is little changed at reduced strength.
- Body: Full.
- Palate: At natural strength, a smooth texture and a vibrant, juicy start introduce a sweet, rich, intensity with a fresh, balancing splash of ocean salt spray. The effect becomes lightly drying before an expected volcanic warmth envelops the palate. Mesmerizing overall, like a distant waterfall in sunshine, it cascades with smooth, rich flavor and is very good to drink straight, while the flavor profile also remains constant if a dash of water is preferred. Finish: Really long, with a considerable sweet chilli-pepper warmth that suffuses the whole palate, and lingers even longer with a drop of water.