Talisker, The Treasure Island Distillery

Sometimes you get lucky or is it you create your own luck. Who cares if the result is that you fall into the proverbial and come up smelling of roses?

It was one of those awful days on Skye when you understand why those long-haired cows look so miserable. (the locals call them ‘coos’. Or it sounds like that). Either way, if you were sat outside in the pelting rain, you would also look a tad bedraggled. And severely grumpy

A Highland cow in a field at the Talisker Distillery in Islay Scotland

The Skye weather forecast works like this. If you can see the Cullin Hills, it’s about to rain, and if you can’t, it’s chucking it down. Boy was this one of those days where it was chucking it down.

I arrived soaked and with a demeanour to match the local ‘coos’. I went into the Distillery Managers for a wee dram to warm me up. Cask strength Talisker with a morning cup of coffee would convert even the worst sceptic into a true believer.

Feeling revived and half-human, I asked if there were any historical artefacts. We wanted things to fill out the legend of Talisker and why we chose it as a Classic malt. 

Talisker Distillery on Skye in Scotland

Not really, was the answer. But there were a few things in an old junk room. He reappeared after about 10 minutes with a battered piece of copper sheet. It had been crudely

folded in four. He also had a book in even worse condition with water stains and the binding resembling a spiders web.

The inside of the copper sheet was engraved, so it looked like a printer’s plate they used many years ago. The decaying paper was a visitors book from the late 1800s.

X marked the spot!

The copper plate, on gentle restoration, was the printing plate for the issue of 194,000 £1 shares in Daluaine -Talisker Ltd. The visitors book contained an entry from Robert Louis Stevenson. The creative genius who wrote Treasure Island, first published in 1883. In the words of RL Stevenson, describing Talisker: ‘The King of drinks as I conceive it.’

Liquid gold indeed. What a day. What a distillery!

These monthly blogs reflect some of the bonhomie & inspired moments I have enjoyed over the years and across various countries and continents with some very talented & amusing folk.

Individually the blogs are, hopefully, funny and entertaining. Together, they represent the personal journey that lead to Firkin Whiskies.


Mike Collings the Founder fo Firkin Whisky noses a single malt scotch

Mike Collings, Firkin Founder

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