Talisker used to have its own Customs & Excise officer, due to the remoteness of Skye. A house and office were constructed next to the distillery for the officer to live and work in
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Tours through the Talisker distillery - available Monday to Friday all year round plus weekends during summer. £5.00 or free if you join Friends of the classic malts
Talisker is the only distillery on the island of Skye, which lies off the west Highland coast of Scotland. The distillery can be found in a remote location on the island's rugged western coast. Talisker lies on the shores of Loch Harport, close to the hamlet of Carbost and the edge of the imposing Cuillin Hills. Talisker is one of the biggest growing whiskies for world sales, following a huge promotional push by the current owners Diageo. It is currently heading towards the top 10 best sellers list. The whisky is famous for its unique fiery and peppery smoky flavour and continues to win awards around the globe. The 18 years old gained the highest accolade possible by winning the best single malt category at the World Whisky Awards in 2007. Talisker can also be found in a number of blended whiskies including the Johnnie Walker range, Isle of Skye, Poit Dhubh (pronounced posh–doo) and Te Bheag (pronounced che–beg).
The Talisker distillery rose from the ashes of a devastated Hebridean whisky industry in 1830. Until the early 1820s, there had been several distilleries operating on the islands. The combination of a clamp down on illegal distilleries by the authorities and the remoteness of some of the sites proved fatal. Two brothers named Hugh and Archie Macaskill decided to move to Skye from the isle of Eigg and convert Talisker House and its surrounding buildings in to a legal distillery. The distillery struggled for years until it was rescued by Roderick Kemp and Alexander Allan in 1881. They saw some potential for Talisker in the blending market and refitted and expanded the distillery. This helped to re–establish the name within the industry and Talisker thrived until Kemp left in 1892 to go and buy Macallan. Allan decided to take the opportunity and merge Talisker with his other distillery and form a new company. This distillery was Dailuaine in Speyside, which was the largest whisky producer in Scotland at that time, and much of the whisky produced at Talisker was used to fulfil the blending contracts of Allan's company. This continued to be the distillery's primary function until it was forced to close in 1960 after it was gutted by a fire. Talisker was rebuilt and continued to go from strength to strength. The current owners, Diageo, added a visitor centre and this is now one of the most visited island distilleries in Scotland, despite its difficult and remote location. They receive over 40,000 visitors per year and that is beaten only by Arran.