lodged far from any neighbour in the small coastal community
of Carbost at the head of Loch Harport, is one of the finest
yet most remote distilleries of all. It was in 1825 that
came here from the smaller island of Eigg, first to bring
sheep to Skye, then to bring Skye's wild spirit to the world.
Leasing Macleod land at Carbost, the MacAskills built Talisker
Distillery in 1830 against the fiery protestations of the
abstainer and former parish Minister, the Rev. Roderick
Macleod, who declared this "one of the greatest curses
that... could befall it or any other place". However,
it wasn't long before their elixir was commented on more
favourably, by no less a writer than Robert Louis Stevenson.
These succinct lines appear in a poem which might have been
subtitled "A Simple Guide to Malt Whisky" - "The
king o'drinks as I conceive it, Talisker, Isla or Glenlivet"
The Scotsman's Return from Abroad - RL Stevenson
Stevenson's words clearly had their own effect. The workforce
quickly grew and Talisker became the successful enterprise,
which it remains to this day. But not everything ran smoothly
during the distillery’s history. In November 1960,
a simple lapse of concentration led to the leaving open
of a valve on the No. 1 spirit still, which was then still
When the spirit reached boiling point a disastrous overflow
occurred onto the flames below and the resulting fire burned
down the still-room. The distillery was rebuilt fastidiously
around exact copies of the old stills. Today, its seductive
malt enjoys more adherents than ever before, many of them
introduced to Talisker’s™ charms by its place
among the Classic Malts.
Food suggestion: Enjoy Talisker™ with smoked
salmon, kipper fillets, grilled smoked mackerel and oysters
on the half shell.
Taste style: Complex. A rich dried fruit
sweetness, clouds of smoke, strong barley-malt flavours
and a peppery eruption at the back of the throat.
Courtesy of Talisker Distillery
10 YEAR OLD
A wonderful award-winning Island malt bottled at above
average strength with a comforting smooth afterglow.
Peat-smoke with sea-water saltiness, the liquor of
fresh oysters, a citrus sweetness.
A rich dried-fruit sweetness with clouds of smoke
and strong barley-malt flavours, warming and intense.
At the back of the mouth is an explosion of pepper.
Huge, long, peppery finish with an appetising sweetness.
18 YEAR OLD
The first regular bottling of an older Talisker™.
Time has rounded not tamed its might.
Rich and fruity – Victoria plums, greengages,
perhaps dried orange peel – with some butterscotch
or rum toffee and a thread of smoke behind. The smoke
soon advances into the foreground and the toffee note
is joined by a light mintiness. With water maritime
characteristics emerge – dry boat varnish, edible
seaweed. Still sweet; now with notes of iodine and
the smokiness of an un-struck match.
Full. Pleasant, smooth.
Sweet in front, then more assertive, with a whiff
of smoke. The development is towards smoke, coal-tar
Medium length. Talisker’s™ characteristic
chilli ‘catch’ in the finish is subtly
present in the aftertaste.
A one-off bottling
to commemorate Talisker's founding in 1830. A malt
of striking contrasts, this scotch whisky is soft
and sweet at heart, yet austere and impressive.
Palate: An immediate
sweet flash of coconut soon becomes medicinal, then
starts to smoulder. The smoke ignites into flame
then starts to dry. Water calms this down and out
come the maritime notes, alongside the embers of
a now-dead wood fire.
increasingly spicy approaching the big, maritime,
robust and lingering finish. When dilute, increasingly
subtle and liquorous, but the smoke still drives
through towards the finish.
Tasting Notes Courtesy
of Talisker Distillery
25 YEAR SINGLE MALT SCOTCH
TALISKER™ 25 YEAR
SINGLE MALT SCOTCH CASK STRENGTH
Bright olive gold.
Nose: Nose drying.
Seaweed and old oranges, with smoke in the distance
and some chalk.
Surprisingly fruity and juicy, although with clear
Talisker identity. With water almost soapy, a waxy
sweetness. Smoke still present, but now more fragrant.
Body: Firm. Slippery
Palate: Sweet and
meek to start, with some acidity and saltiness.
Extraordinary flavour development. Becomes dry,
stony, minerally, dusty, toasty. Ground white pepper.
Finish: Medium to
long, slightly bitter, drying finish. Vegetal.
On the shores of Loch Harport, the village of Carbost is
home to Skye’s only distillery producing a wonderful
award-winning Island malt bottled at above average strength.
Talisker's™ soft, peaty process water is drawn from
twenty-one underground springs that rise from Hawk Hill
(Cnoc nan Speirag) beside the distillery. These same springs
have fed Talisker from the beginning. As its name suggests,
the hill is home to birds of prey, usually including Peregrines.
Today, 20,000 gallons an hour of cooling water from the
fast running Carbost Burn fill a traditional Talisker feature
- five wooden "worm tubs", located outside the
Talisker's two wash stills, carefully recreated after the
1960 fire, are unique. The lye pipes leading off from the
main neck are U-shaped, to trap vapours from the first distillation
before they reach the outside worm tubs, whilst a small
secondary copper pipe carries the vapours so trapped back
to the wash stills for a second distillation.
Faithfully following the original design, it is believed
that this double distillation ensures that all of Talisker’s™
rich, deep character is captured first time. So there is,
indeed, nothing withdrawn or reserved about Talisker™
- a fact confirmed for visitors whose first experience before
they take the distillery tour, is a taste of the malt itself.
Talisker™ embodies all the spirit of this rocky, storm-lashed
island and its strong, steadfast people. Skye's only distillery
this may be, but like the men of the island the malt has character
enough for ten.
Visitor Centre Manager: Mark Lochead
Visitor Centre Opening Times
November - March:
Mon - Fri: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Set tours at 10.30am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm & 3.30pm.
April to October
Mon - Sat: 9.30am - 5.00pm
Tours throughout the day, last tour at 4.00pm
July and August - We're also open!
Sundays: 12.00pm - 5.00pm
Tours throughout the day, last tour at 4.00pm
Tour Availability and Booking
During our busier summer months there can be a wait for
tour availability on arrival at the visitor centre, as our
tour sizes are limited, so advanced booking is advised if
you are on a tight time schedule or if you want to tour
at a specific time. We also strongly advise contacting us
if you plan to arrive for the last tour as this tour can
book up in advance of the 4.00pm departure time.
During the winter we only have 4 tours a day so to guarantee
a place on one of them we again advise contacting us in
Our Tours aren't Standard - they're Classic...
The adult admission charge of £5.00 for our Classic
Distillery Tour includes a discount voucher, redeemable
in our well-stocked distillery shop towards the purchase
of a 70cl bottle of malt whisky, as well as a taste of our
Talisker 10 year old. Children (8-17 years) are also welcome
on this tour, admission charge of £2.50 (no voucher
or taste). Children under 8 years are welcome in our Visitor’s
Centre but are not admitted to the production areas
The Talisker Tasting Tour, for those seeking a
On selected weekdays our Talisker Tasting Tour starts at
1.45pm and includes a more in-depth tour of the distillery
as well as a 5 sample nosing and tasting session of whiskies
selected from our award winning Talisker range. The £15
admission charge for this tour includes a limited edition
Talisker Nosing Glass for you to take away and enjoy your
favourite Talisker in at home as well as discount voucher,
redeemable in our well-stocked distillery shop towards the
purchase of a 70cl bottle of malt whisky. Please contact
us for more information.
Large groups and coach parties are by appointment only,
if you are not pre-booked you might be disappointed on arrival
to find out we cant tour you or you have a long wait for
tour availability so help us help you by getting in touch