Looking down the wee Scottish road, the end of which stands Talisker, It’s hard to believe one of the world’s most popular Whiskies comes from this tiny place. Teetering on the edge of Skye, with astonishing scenery passing you by as you drive to get to her. From the Fairy Pools, to The Old Man of Storr, Skye presents more than one place should reasonably be allowed to show to the world.
A cliff guards the Distillery on one side, and the sea on the other, and Talisker is caged like a tiger, knowing she can go nowhere, but still endeavouring to show the world her stripes. You can hear the water lapping at her doors, and the sea air brushes your skin as you walk into the shop and visitors centre. Using the water to the best advantage, a pier was purpose built in 1900 to help get supplies to the Distillery and the workers.
The water theme is continued inside, the walls festooned with explanations of how the swell of waves has influenced this famous Dram. Going through to the distillery, and on the tour, you find a labyrinth of doors, which is down to how little space Talisker has to play with.
And yet there is a sense of grandeur all around the Distillery, a sense of timed perfection which they have finely tuned over her long history. The stunning Washbacks, and glistening Stills make you feel as you are somewhere very loved. You can almost imagine mermaids coming up from the depths for a taste of her wares.
None of the closeness shows in the tour, and they have made the best of all her attributes. From the gleaming Spirit Safe, to the wonderful tasting spaces, Talisker has been cherished and loved.
And loved she is. Resurrected from a devastating fire in 1960, she has gone on to be one of the world’s best known brands. With the spicy air, and drifts of smoke, the Whisky presents itself as only Talisker could. With a unique and exhilarating flavour.
Tours run every 15 minutes from 10.00am – 4.00pm. An it is highly recommend that you book.
© Gabrielle Balfour 2016