Written by Hillary Buckman
10 December 2023
When the invitation to attend the launch of Talisker’s 45-Year-Old: Glacial Edge arrived, the idea of saying no simply wasn’t an option. The event unfolded in the picturesque Crackenback Valley, a mere 30-minute drive from Thredbo – or, in my case, a thrilling two-hour helicopter flight from Sydney.
Immersing myself in the world of Talisker’s exquisitely rare and wild whisky, the adventure began with fly-fishing and hiking in the Snowy Mountains. A bold decision awaited as we also took a plunge into the icy river for cold-water immersion.
Of course, the evening’s highlight was a tantalising dinner. Throughout the night, we embarked on a journey through the rich history of Talisker Whisky, culminating in the tasting of the 45-Year-Old Glacial Edge. Its delightfully salty, smoky flavour, with a touch of sweetness, lingered on the palate.
Heralded as Made by the Sea, Activated by Ice, Talisker 45-Year-Old Glacial Edge is an exquisitely rare and wild whisky, aged over four decades and finished in ice-fractured casks.
The unique character of Glacial Edge comes from the whisky’s maturation over four decades in heavily charred ice-fractured casks under blasting arctic winds, which have unearthed an unexplored richness, complexity and unique untamed depth of flavour.
Twelve of Talisker’s heavily charred American Oak casks were taken on a glacial voyage into Canadian ice fields and exposed to sub-zero temperatures and biting Arctic winds.
The increased surface area available for the whisky to interact with the wood during the finishing period enabled the whisky to travel deeper into the casks and obtain spicier and sweeter aromas from the American Oak ex-Bourbon barrels, resulting in three different whiskies accentuated by its exposure.
Talisker Distillery’s first-ever release of a 45-year-old Single Malt Scotch whisky is the result of this wild whisky experiment, unearthing new and resilient depths to Talisker’s character. Rich, dry and mellow, with a light peppery prickle on the nose, the texture is wondrously oil-smooth and mouth-filling. The taste starts toffee-sweet then becomes mouth-wateringly salty and increasingly peppery, with a striking intensity to it, and a fine chilli catch.
A dash of water integrates these tastes. The ultimate expression of rugged luxury, Talisker 45-Year-Old is an extremely rare dram, with just 2,445 limited bottles globally.
Katie Nagar, Diageo Rare and Exceptional Luxury Ambassador said, “Talisker stands for something raw, authentic and visceral – we have crossed wild seas, plunged into the darkness of ocean depths, and been licked by flames of charred kelp and marine oak, to inspire a series of Talisker whiskies truly born of the wild.
“Our 45-Year-Old represents the culmination of that journey, and the ultimate expression of that belief. Wild whisky, exquisitely rare and fractured by ice.”
In the last expression of this adventurous series, united by the desire to help protect the seas, Talisker has joined forces with Parley, its partner in ocean conservation, to embark on a daring mission to raise awareness of the interconnected nature of the ocean and the planet and inspire the most elemental and trailblazing Talisker to date.
The intrepid journey revealed the health of the planet’s ecosystems is intertwined, from the ice caps of Canada to the kelp forests that surround Talisker’s home on Skye.
The appetite for rare liquids and desire to discover high-aged liquids is experiencing unprecedented growth, far outstripping the supply that distilleries can fulfill.
Talisker 45-Year-Old is a truly luxurious and rare whisky bottling, perfect for savouring a moment and creating memorable experiences and a sense of adventure that only Talisker can provide.