Talisker Glacial Edge 45 Years: Cask Experiment in Glacial Ice

Petra Milde |

Talisker's first 45-year-old single malt whisky


Diageo presents Talisker Glacial Edge 45 Years Old, a venerable old single malt whisky from the Isle of Skye, which received an exceptional finish in specially treated casks. Y

Twelve casks made of "heavily charred American oak" were brought to the glacier region of Canada. There they were freed from their lids and exposed to the icy temperatures and winds for 96 hours. This crashed the wood of the casks, which increased the surface and the contact between the cask and the whisky that would follow.

Back in Scotland, Talisker Whisky was finished in these casks, which had previously been matured for more than 4 decades in ex-bourbon casks. Diageo's  press release does not reveal how long this finish in the "ice-fractured oak casks" lasted.

Collaboration with Parley for the Oceans

For this whisky experiment, Talisker collaborated with glacier scientist Dr. Alison Criscitiello and the environmental organisation Parley for the Oceans. This is the third year of Talisker and Parley for the Oceans' collaboration to raise public awareness of the marine ecosystem. The 44-year-old Talisker Forests of the Deep and the 43-year-old Xpedition Oak were already released in this series of exclusive experimental whiskies. Other whiskies such as the Talisker X Parley Wilder Seas Cognac Finish have also resulted from the collaboration between Talisker and Parley. Diageo donates part of the proceeds for the Talisker Glacial Edge 45 Years to the work of the environmental organisation.

The Talisker Glacial Edge 45 Years was bottled at 49.8% ABV and is limited to 2.455 bottles. By the way, it is the first time ever that Talisker offers a 45-year-old whisky.

Producer’s tasting notes for the Talisker Glacial Edge 45-Year-Old

Appearance: Glowing pale amber. Exceptional beading.

Nose: Rich, dry and mellow, with a light peppery prickle. Clear maritime top notes speak of seaweed and iodine; their glacial mineral companions suggest slaked lime and salt crystals. Below, complex sweet aromas hint at dried fruits and creamy vanilla, bringing depth and richness. Light smoke threads the background, touched by aromatic sandalwood. A drop of water adds a trace of almond toffee: the other aromas remain, joined by a note of hemp rope. Body: Full, rich.

Palate: The texture is wondrously oil-smooth and mouth-filling; the taste starts toffee-sweet then becomes salty and increasingly peppery; even at this age there is a striking intensity to it, and a fine chilli ‘catch’. A dash of water integrates these tastes. An attractive saltiness to the toffee now suggests salted caramels, with slightly less pepper.

Finish: Very long, with a glorious chilli pepper effect and a trace of candle wax; this grows in the aftertaste, in which both saltiness and pepper also persist. Saltier if water is added, with less pepper and faint scented smoke.

Images: Diageo

About the author Petra Milde

Die selbständige Autorin hat ihre private Leidenschaft für das Wasser des Lebens zu ihrem Beruf gemacht. Mit ihren Artikeln in Fachmagazinen, Büchern, Pressemitteilungen und Blogbeiträgen informiert sie über Hintergründe, Neuigkeiten aus der Whisky- und Ginszene und „die Leute hinter den Produkten“.

Daneben moderiert sie Tastings und ist auf Spirituosenmessen sowohl beratend hinter den Ständen als auch davor auf der Suche nach neuen Produkten und interessanten Gesprächspartnern zu finden.