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Talisker Used an Arctic Glacier to Assist End This 45-12 months-Previous Whiskey—Right here’s Why

Talisker Used an Arctic Glacier to Assist End This 45-12 months-Previous Whiskey—Right here’s Why

When it comes to cask finishes, you got your toasted oak, your sherry butt, your rum barrel, and (unfortunately) your amburana wood. Add ice-fractured casks exposed to the elements in the Arctic to the mix with the release of the new Talisker Glacial Edge 45-Year-Old, which brings something new and unexpected to the world of cask finishes.

This is the third and final release in the Talisker Xpedition Series—the first was 2021’s Talisker Xpedition Oak 43-Year-Old, finished in barrels made of staves that crossed the Atlantic onboard a ship; and the second was Talisker Forests of the Deep 44-Year-Old, finished in barrels charred by burning sea kelp. Talisker is one of just two distilleries on the Isle of Skye in northwest Scotland (the other is Torabhaig). The whisky produced there is peated, although usually not at the level of many Islay distilleries, with characteristic notes of spice, fruit, and vanilla. This new release is the first 45-year-old whisky from the distillery, and the story behind how these casks were treated is interesting if nothing else.

Glacier scientist Alison Criscitiello led a team in partnership with environmental group Parley for the Oceans to the ice fields of northern Canada, bringing along 12 heavily charred casks. The ends of these casks were removed allowing the inside to be exposed to freezing Arctic temperatures for 96 hours, which fractured the wood and, according to the brand, increased the surface area. This meant there would be more interaction between wood and whisky once the barrels were brought back to Scotland and filled with 45-year-old single malt for a finishing period of about five months.

Now, you’ll be forgiven if this all kind of sounds like another whisky gimmick, along the lines of ocean aging or subjecting barrels to heavy metal. Of course, there is science to support the theory that increasing a barrel’s surface area will affect a whisky’s flavor, especially such an old one, but there’s really no way to quantify this other than tasting notes, which Talisker provided. Look for maritime and spice notes on the nose, followed by an oily mouthfeel with chili, salted caramel, and toffee on the palate, and a long finish laced with briny salt and black pepper.

Talisker Glacial Edge 45-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is available now in select markets, but it’s a limited release with just 272 bottles in the U.S. You can find it for sale now at The Whisky Exchange, and the rest of the Talisker lineup is available at ReserveBar.

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Source: Robb Report

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