The Isle of Skye’s Talisker Distillery has announced the release of its oldest whisky to date. The 43 Years Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge was created using casks that included wooden staves that had navigated the Atlantic.
Talisker’s Xpedition Oak shows the signature peppery sea salt smoky sweetness of the brand, having been nurtured in oak for more than four decades.
The special release has been drawn from 10 casks, with only 1830 bottles set to be released as a tribute to the distillery’s founding year when the MacAskill brothers rowed from the Isle of Eigg to the Isle of Skye and established the Talisker Distillery. Inspired by this journey, adventurer James Aiken undertook a 3,264-mile journey across the Atlantic, carrying with him wooden staves and selections of casks, following the route the rowers of the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge take.
Upon completion of the crossing, these staves were carefully returned to Scotland to complete the final maturation, and each bottle purchased will be accompanied by a piece of one of these very staves.
James Aiken said: “Most of my life is focused on the ocean, and the variety of ways that we can interact and learn from it. This expedition taught me even more and allowed me to connect with nature’s elements in an entirely new way. Over twenty-four days, sailing from La Gomera, Spain, to the island of Antigua, I crossed the Atlantic solo aboard my boat Oaken Yarn. I cared for the wooden staves aboard ensuring their safe passage. The crossing was an almost meditative experience in nature: both challenging and a joy.”
Ewan Gunn, senior global brand ambassador, said: “This whisky is a sublime single malt that captures the pinnacle of the key aromas of Talisker – spice, sweetness, waxy and creamy, with a sense of the sea salt spray the morning after a storm. The four decades of maturation have given a full flavour, yet a softness to this bold dram resulting in a rounded and elegant experience.”
Later this year, bottle number one of Talisker 43-Year-Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge will be entered into an auction with all proceeds donated to Parley for the Oceans. Parley and Talisker are on a mission to protect and preserve 100 million square metres of marine ecosystems around the world by 2023, and are unified in their shared love for the oceans and a joint commitment to support their preservation for future generations.
The new release will be available globally from May from select retailers, Malts.com and whisky specialists.
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