Talisker Skye joins ‘ageless’ wave
Talisker has added a third no-age-statement expression in as many years with the launch of Talisker Skye.
Following on from the 2013 arrival of Talisker Storm – a smoky, saline style – and Talisker Port Ruighe with its Port cask finish, Talisker Skye is described by the brand as an homage to the “majestic landscape and coastline” of its island home.
Matured in American oak casks, of which a “slightly higher proportion” are toasted, Talisker Skye offers “a sweet smoky and maritime style,” although less powerful than the brand’s Storm expression.
Comparing the flavours to “a warm, sunny day on Skye,” Diageo global Scotch whisky ambassador Donald Colville said: “Talisker’s known for its smokiness, but not the intensity of peat smoke; it’s much more about the delicate, sappy, sour note of walking through a pine forest.”
Recent years have seen a marked rise in the number of high profile releases without an age statement, with Talisker a notably active driver of this trend. Although hardly a new approach and one long used by market leading brands such as Johnnie Walker, the move has sparked accusations from some corners that the Scotch industry is dumbing down its offer as mature whisky stocks run low.
Nevertheless, Scotch whisky sales have slowed in recent months, with latest figures from the Scotch Whisky Association showing a 7% decline in total exports, driven by sliding sales in half of the category’s top 20 markets.
Welcoming Talisker Skye to the range, distillery manager Stuart Harrington commented: “We’re extremely passionate about both our whiskies and home, the Isle of Skye, and see this whisky as the perfect way of celebrating this. Our master blenders worked tirelessly to create an expression that embodies Skye’s wild beauty – and we’re delighted with the end product; it’s Skye in a bottle.”
Carrying an RRP of £33 and abv of 45.8%, Talisker Skye is due to hit the shelves of specialist retailers and larger grocery stores later this year.
A detailed look at recent developments in the Scotch whisky category will appear in the drinks business‘ May issue.