On a mission to preserve the oceans that are a huge part of their heritage, Talisker has teamed up with not-for-profit ocean conservation organisation, Parley for the Oceans, to create a truly unique whisky, Forests of the Deep.
Matured in oak casks that have been charred over a flame fueled by sustainably farmed kelp, this 44-year-old limited edition single malt, the oldest expression from Talisker so far, is both an exceptional collector’s item and a great way to support ocean conservation.
What makes this particular whisky so special? Well, the first aspect that makes this whisk special is the rarity of the bottle. With only 1,997 bottles produced, it is expected to sell out fast as it is snapped up by whisky collectors and investors.
Secondly, this is the oldest expression released by Talisker to date, making it a must-have for lovers of the Isle of Skye distillery.
Thirdly, this particular expression has the added benefit of being matured in oak barrels charred over a sustainably farmed kelp fire. Charring a barrel adds deep rich smokey flavours to a whisky, while the source of the smoke, the kelp, adds its own selection of subtle but unique notes.
Additionally, the oak staves used to make those barrels were lashed to the front of the boat used by marine biologists to study the Great African Kelp forest, absorbing the brine of the Atlantic Ocean off the Cape of Good Hope.
As Belgian whiskey commentator Mark Dermal noted “The finish is nothing short of brilliant. You can really smell the seaweed! A light touch of iodine and sea salt, a warm sandy beach where thunder clouds begin to gather above, a fire pit that’s almost extinguished, jute bags, ship’s rope. An old fishing boat bobbing gently against the quay… brown toast with lamb pate, lobster on the grill.”
These three factors come together to create a whisky that is special to investors and collectors because of its rarity and special to Talisker fans because of its age and unique flavour.
What is the connection between Talisker and the sea?
The Talisker distillery has always had a connection with the sea. It’s hard not to when you are based on the Isle of Skye. Skye is located off the northwest coast of Scotland and surrounded by the crashing waves of the North Atlantic.
The two founding brothers, Hugh and Kenneth MacAskill, actually originated from the even smaller island of Eigg, and built their distillery on the shores Loch Harport, despite strenuous opposition from the local clergy.
The sea and sea salt play a huge role in the flavour of Talisker whisky. The salty sea air that seeps through the barrels as they age gives Talisker a unique briny taste, and infuses it with a smoky quality that comes from the surrounding peaty landscape.
The logo of the distillery is also a mer-lion, further connecting it with the rugged and wild sea. The mer-lion has been found in ancient carvings and jewellery all over Scotland, a sign of strength and courage even during the most turbulent ocean storms.
How does buying this bottle help ocean conservation?
Parley for the Oceans is a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans. They accomplish this through a combination of research, activism and education.
Kelp forests provide an important habitat for many marine species, and these forests of the sea are a fragile resource that requires careful stewardship.
The Parley for the Oceans organisation is working with coastal communities and distilleries like Talisker to promote sustainable kelp farming, which not only protects the delicate ecosystems but also provides a valuable source of income to local people. This recent partnership with Talisker is just one of the many ways Parley for the Oceans is working to reduce plastic waste, raise awareness of ocean pollution, and educate on ways to protect our seas.
As part of the launch of the Forests of the Deep line, the distillery has arranged an experiential tasting of the iteration on World Oceans Day on the 8th of June, with all proceeds being donated to Parley.