After visiting Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Andrews, Inverness, Loch Ness, and Eilean Donan, Gavin and I finally made it to the Isle of Skye, perhaps the most hotly anticipated location on our journey!
It did not disappoint.
We arrived on a wet and misty day, with a thirst for sea air and whisky. Being short on time and daylight hours, we headed straight to the Talisker distillery, which curiously enough is not located in the village of Talisker, but in the more sheltered village of Carbost.
Now forgive me, ye fans of Skye, for we have a little confession to make. Our initial attraction to the isle had come from our love of Talisker whisky, and as such that was the most important part of the visit, even though the rest of the island is breathtakingly gorgeous and deserved more attention than it received.
Arriving too late to take a tour, we instead proceeded to sample four of their intriguing whiskies. Some things to note about Talisker’s whiskies include the fact that their lowest bottled ABV is 45.8%, they are owned by Diageo, their 10 Year Old is one of our favourite whiskies, and they often tend to marry flavours of peat with fruitier notes. Since the classic 10 Year Old and the Storm were both well known to us, we opted to try new things.
Talisker Dark Storm
Nose: roasted chestnuts, crispy chicken skin, dark fruits, hint of smoke/peat
Palate: plums, black cherry, mince tarts, peat
Finish: vanilla, peat
Talisker Distillery Exclusive Bottling
Nose: milky black tea, spice
Palate: very creamy, woodsmoke, vanilla
Finish: sweet blast of fruit cake, lingering nicely
Talisker 8 Year Old Special Release 2018
Nose: wet paint, Bourbon
Palate: sweet creamy butterscotch fudge
Finish: pineapple, peat, dark chocolate, intensely full and complex finish, big
Rating: 88/100, and very nice for a whisky so young!
Talisker 57° North
Nose: herbal, floral, roses
Palate: butterscotch, spice, raisins
Finish: fish and peat, hint of smoke
I should point out that on the entire trip Gavin was the sole driver (since ICBC refused to renew my license) and so it was always my solemn duty to finish off each dram. I also generally made sure to drink some water in between tastings so that my palate could provide me with reasonably accurate tasting notes.
After leaving Talisker, we quickly checked in at our hostel (excitingly located down several miles of single track road!) and then raced off to see what we could in the quickly fading daylight. At the recommendation of the hostel owner, we went on a journey to the Fairy Glen near Uig. There we were treated to a magical little valley, full of circular hills, ponds, sheep, and the slanting light of the setting sun. Beautiful!
Unfortunately we had to leave Skye the next morning, so we saw nothing else new on our return journey to the mainland. I shall return!