The United Kingdom is a dream destination for many travellers. There’s a little something for everyone. On one side you have a metropolitan city like London, which also houses historical landmarks like the Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. And, on the other side, you have the highlands of Scotland with attractions like the Loch Ness, Stonehenge and a medieval world charm that looks like something right out of a storybook.
Well, there’s plenty of attractions and experiences here to fill up your itinerary. But, if you are a curious traveler in search of an offbeat path, it’s time to take a trip to the Isle of Skye for a gastronomical awakening.
Here to assist you on this one-of-a-kind adventure, is someone who’s been to the UK recently and tried the legendary Talisker whisky pairing with oysters that the Isle of Skye is known for.
Devi Singh is the World Class (a bartending competition hosted by Diageo) India winner who made it to the Glasgow 2019 international finals. After battling his way through the competition, he took some time off to discover the place. Being a Scotch enthusiast himself, he travelled to the famous Talisker Distillery in Carbost on the Isle of Skye.
We got talking to him about his journey and how he ended up having his first oyster with a shot of Talisker whisky.
1. Describe the journey as you headed to the Isle of Skye.
My journey started from Glasgow, where I took a train with celebrity mixologist, Mr Yangdup Lama to Inverness, a small and beautiful town in the highland region of Scotland. After an overnight stay, we drove to the Isle of Skye in the morning. The drive from Inverness to the Talisker distillery was a good 2.5 hours of a surreal experience. I will never be able to get over the beautiful landscape along the way. I was surrounded by acres and acres of greenery with hills and valleys all spread out in every direction.
2. Why did you want to visit the Talisker distillery?
The truth is that Talisker has been one of my favourite Scotches. In fact, I have even won a few bartending competitions where I made cocktails using this whisky. So, naturally, it’s been on my bucket list forever! When Diageo gave me the chance to visit Scotland for the World Class finals, I thought there was no way I’d miss on this experience.
3. What was your experience like at the Talisker distillery?
It was a one-of-a-kind experience where I learnt more about Scotch. For instance, I always wondered why people preferred Scotch over other drinks. Then, I realised that the atmosphere here is perfect for the ageing of barrels. It makes a big difference when compared to whisky from other places. What also surprised me was the precision and technique they use to make the whisky and the passion behind it. I also got a chance to sample their whole portfolio of drinks which aren’t usually available in India. I really loved the Talisker Storm.
4. How did you hear about the famous oyster and Talisker pairing?
I had seen videos about it but never had the chance to try it out. Then during World Class, the Talisker Brand Ambassador, Jason Clark suggested I try them, and I thought if I’m already here then why not!
5. What was your first reaction when you were told to eat them together?
I’m a Goa boy who eats a lot of seafood. That said, raw oysters were a completely different experience. I knew that and had already prepared myself mentally. I was determined to get this off my bucket list.
6. Tell us about the famous Oyster Shed in Carbost.
Janson Clark and a few people from the Talisker distillery told me about a place called the Oyster Shed. It was a 200-meter drive above the Talisker distillery over the hills. This place looked like a small countryside restaurant and served the freshest oysters. You have to get your own bottle of Talisker though to pair it with the oyster.
Image Credits: TripAdvisor
7. Give us a first-hand guide on how you paired Talisker with oysters.
Imagine this—the beautiful landscape around me and a plate of fresh oysters and a shot of Talisker in front of me. I was told to pour a shot of the Talisker whisky in the glass and to add some lemon and Tabasco to the oyster. Next, I had to gulp the oyster and follow it with the shot of Talisker. Trust me, Talisker with oysters any day over tequila!
The moment of truth was staring at me and honestly, it wasn’t the prettiest sight. I was not sure if I’d like it but once I gulped it, I loved it and kept going. It had a nice umami flavour with little saltiness and hints of red chilli spices. Sipping on the Talisker whisky after the oyster just takes that experience to a whole new level. The combination is worth the hype.
8. Would you recommend this experience to people travelling to the United Kingdom?
Scotland is known for great whiskies and the freshest oysters so why not try it out when you’re here. Sure, you can experience this in other parts of the world too, but slurping on oysters while enjoying the landscape in front of you is something you’ll experience only in the Isle of Skye. Go for it, I recommend you add it to your UK trip itinerary.
Image Credits: Fortune
So, pack your bags and make a trip to the Isle of Skye already, some fresh oysters and Talisker awaits you.
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