Wild spirits, adventurers and environmentalists come together to celebrate the new whisky brand home following multi-million-pound transformation.
Talisker Distillery on the world-famous Isle of Skye is making a major splash in Scottish tourism this summer with the opening of a spectacular new visitor experience following a multi-million-pound investment.
To mark the opening, and to celebrate Talisker’s special connection to the rugged sea and coastline of Skye, the distillery welcomed multi-record-breaking wild swimmer Ross Edgley, and Skye based artist, adventurer and conservationist Katie Tunn.
Fittingly, they arrived at the distillery by sea in Loch Harport, and after drying off they were greeted by Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes, before visiting the reimagined visitor experience today before it opens on Friday 5 August.
Talisker has been regularly referenced in pop culture everywhere from Robert Louis Stevenson to DC Comics ‘Justice League’, and its home has stood proudly by the sea for over 150 years.
Now, the distillery has been renovated and visitor experience completely transformed as part of Diageo’s £185million investment in Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland.
Guests will have the option of selecting three newly created tours including The Talisker Distillery Tour, where they’ll discover how the island influences the taste of the whisky.
The tour explores the many rooms of the iconic site, including the making Talisker room, mash house and still house, and is followed by three tastings of the beloved single malt.
The Made by the Sea Tasting Experience gives whisky lovers the chance to immerse themselves in a multi-sensory tasting session, exploring the history and story of Talisker through a guided tasting.
For the connoisseur, the Talisker Cask Draw and Tasting Experience, set to open at a later date, offers a rare chance to visit Talisker’s maturation warehouse and draw five unique cask-strength and distillery exclusive whiskies, accompanied by an expert guide.
Barbara Smith, Managing Director of Diageo’s Scotland Brand Homes, added:
“Talisker is inseparable from the unique Isle of Skye landscape and its whisky inherently shaped by the sea and landscape that surrounds it.
“Our new brand home celebrates that deep connection with the sea and Talisker’s commitment to preserving the wonderful marine environment in Scotland and around the world.
“From the tours to the bars and retail space, there’s so much to experience at Talisker whether you’ve travelled two miles or two hundred miles to be there, and whether you’re already familiar with this wonderful whisky, or discovering it for the first time.”
Two bars and a retail space packed with local products complete the new Talisker experience, creating a place where both tourists and Skye residents can gather.
Local artists, crafts and trades people have been employed where possible during the build and, in planning, the team looked at the businesses already operating in the local area and ensured that the Talisker offering complements existing businesses.
Katie Tunn is one such local artist who has collaborated with the team, she said:
“There’s no arguing that Talisker is one of our country’s most iconic whiskies, and it’s been a joy to watch the space come alive as we’ve worked through the project.
“It’s sure to quickly become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.
“As both a whisky lover and someone who’s passionate about the ocean environment, it’s been an honour to be involved with Talisker and there is more to come so watch this space.”
Showcased within the new visitor experience on Skye is a snapshot of Talisker’s ground-breaking partnership with ocean conservation organisation, Parley for the Oceans.
Previously embarking on long-distance swims in support of this work is adventurer and long-distance swimmer Ross Edgley, and one of the first through the doors at the distillery.
Ross Edgley commented:
“It’s impossible to visit Skye and not feel like you’re on an adventure, it just oozes out of the place.
“The experience at Talisker embodies this adventurous spirit and is truly worth a visit.
“What you’ve got here is a truly unique whisky experience in a stunning setting, with its opportunity to get out into the wild and come back here to one of the many tastings and tours, there are so many reasons to keep returning to this beautiful island.”
Talisker is the sixth site to undergo a transformation as part of Diageo’s ambitious project which re-imagines the traditional whisky tour experience.
Along with Diageo’s other 13 visitor experiences in Scotland, Talisker holds a Green Tourism Gold Award – the highest sustainability accolated for a visitor attraction.
Talisker encourages everyone to drink responsibly when enjoying our whisky, and remember not to mix swimming and consuming alcohol.