Diageo Launches Talisker 43 Year-Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge

The oldest release to date from Talisker, finished in casks with staves that crossed the Atlantic

21st April 2021 - Shaped by nature’s elements, Talisker 43-Year-Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge was finished in casks that included wooden staves that traversed the Atlantic. Drawn from just ten casks, only 1830 bottles of this rare whisky will be released, in honour of Talisker’s founding year, when the MacAskill brothers undertook their own adventure and rowed from the Isle of Eigg to the shores of the Isle of Skye and established the Talisker Distillery.

This special 43-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is the oldest release from Talisker to date. With its signature peppery sea salt smoky sweetness, this expression is the epitome of the Talisker style and character; nurtured for over four decades in oak to produce something truly spectacular.

As part of this whisky making journey and inspired by the spirit of Talisker’s founders, renowned adventurer James Aiken undertook a 3,264 mile journey across the Atlantic, with a very precious cargo. On the deck aboard James’s yacht he carried wooden staves, sections of casks, on a transatlantic expedition that followed the same route of the rowers of the annual Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. Upon completion of the crossing, these staves were carefully returned to Scotland to complete the final maturation of Talisker’s most adventurous spirit yet: Talisker 43-Year-Old Xpedition Oak: The Atlantic Challenge. 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.”

To hear more about James Aiken’s journey, visit the Talisker Instagram page where James is in conversation with former Special Forces and fellow adventurer Jason Fox. Jason was part of the team of rowers who crossed the Atlantic for the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, and won the race, in 2016.

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.