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Have Your Single Malt Whisky and Protect the Ocean Too: How one Scottish Distillery is Funding Environmental Research

The Scottish takes their whisky very seriously, and the rest of the world gets to enjoy the dedication to their craft. Now, a Highland distillery is serving up a bottle of single malt whisky that helps to protect the ocean. 

Talisker distillery is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. Whisky Advocate describes Talisker as the “producer of rugged single malts recognized for the way it captures the spray of the sea and delivers a distinctive peppery spice.”

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Talisker is using its fame to produce and market a bottle with the planet in mind. The new limited edition release called “Talisker x Parley: Wilder Seas Single Malt Scotch Whisky” is a product collaboration between Talisker and conservation organization Parley for the Oceans. 

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Parley is a global environmental organization that helps thinkers, leaders, and creators network to collaborate on innovative solutions to protect the ocean and the biodiversity in it. The mission of the organization is to “rapidly transform human-made materials and systems to work in harmony with the ecosystem of nature, and to inspire and empower more impactful participation in the environmental cause.” 

Parley’s primary focus is product collaborations that reduce plastic waste while funding environmental efforts. The organization has worked with Adidas, S’well, and many others. 

One whisky writer describes the Wilder Seas bottle as “a rich, complex and tightly integrated aroma and a taste which is pure Talisker, with added dried fruitiness.” The whisky is the first Talisker has aged in French Oak XO cognac casks. The bottles used for Wilder Seas are made of recycled glass (with biofuels powering the bottle-making process), and the bottle is being sold without a typical carton to reduce paper waste. 

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Wilder Seas also has a lower carbon footprint than a typical Talisker bottle. According to a carbon emissions review, Wilder Seas bottles sold in the United Kingdom have a greenhouse gas footprint that is 85 percent lower than typical whisky bottles. Compared to typical packaging for a Talisker bottle, the packaging of the Wilder Seas bottle also has 77 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions. 

Talisker is donating £3 ($3.80) to Parley from every bottle of Wilder Seas that is sold. This money will fund the protection of sea forests, which are dense areas of kelp and other plant life, off the coasts of South Africa, Chile, and Scotland. Though the  Isle of Skye itself is surrounded by sea forest, the Scottish protection efforts will focus mostly on the nation’s remote Orkney Islands. The money is funding research conducted by Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Heriot-Watt University, and the Blue Marine Foundation that examines how sea forests can help mitigate the impacts of climate change. 

A whisky that helps fund environmental research and consumers enjoy is yet more evidence of how bottom-up solutions can benefit people and protect the planet. This bottle may be a limited edition release, but it could mark the beginning of single malts helping to protect the environment.  

Kelvey Vander Hart is a native Iowan, a member of the American Conservation Coalition, and a communications specialist at Reason Foundation.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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