By James Atkinson

The team behind Talisker’s award-winning single malt whiskies are excited about the expansion of the portfolio to include a number of expressions that do not declare an age statement.

Already this year, the Isle of Skye distillery has released Talisker Storm, a more intense and smoky variant, as well as Dark Storm, a variant exclusive to global travel retail that is billed as Talisker’s smokiest ever whisky.

Then there’s Talisker Port Ruighe, which celebrates the role of port casks earlier on in the distillery’s history. None of these new whiskies carry an age statement. [continued below]

On a recent visit to the Isle of Skye, Talisker distillery operations manager Stuart Harrington (pictured above) echoed the sentiments of many of his industry colleagues, that Scotch whisky producers are trying to move away from the concept of age.

“Age was a thing that the industry peddled basically, because we had a lot of aged stock sitting in our warehouses, so we told everyone that the older it is, the better it is,” Harrington told TheShout.

“That’s not always true. Actually, age can be limiting at times. What we’ve tried to push now and promote is flavour and taste. That’s obviously far more important than age for a perceived level of greatness in a whisky.”

Talisker distillery manager Mark Lochhead said that consumers in the established markets for whisky are beginning to understand that age isn’t everything. [continued below]

“And the new markets don’t have the baggage of the developed world,” he added. “So therefore we’ve got those two factors playing in favour of allowing the innovation to be put out there.”

Of the new Talisker expressions, Lochhead names the Talisker Storm as his favourite, while Harrington is a big fan of the Port Ruighe.

“It’s finished in a port cask and, for me, it does really, really exciting things to the Talisker. It takes Talisker down a sweeter side, in which you get a hint of Talisker 25-year-old – a slight ‘jamminess’ with almost a hint of strawberry coming through.”

Talisker Storm arrived in Australia earlier this year. Talisker Port Ruighe is due in January with an RRP of $99.99.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. So if we were ‘peddled’ a myth about age statements why should we believe anything these guys say now?

    The truth is that NAS whiskies (Laphroaig QC is a good example) can be good value. However, having conditioned the market to them, many are now being overpriced by the producers. Talisker Storm uses very young whiskies and reconditioned casks (literally scraping the barrel) so why is it more expensive than the 10?

    Age statements aren’t the be all and end all of whisky but at least they keep the distilleries honest. The demand for whisky is such that it is now distorting any link between price and the cost of production. NAS whiskies provide a convenient way for whisky producers to cash in on that demand.

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