A common scene at food-centric events (back when we got to go to food events) would frequently be the Talisker booth, where one busy guy would be tasked with shucking oysters and dousing them with a splash of Talisker whisky to be fed to the faithful. It’s a fun combination — moderately peaty Scotch with a briny bivalve — and now you can experience it for yourself at home: Talisker has paired up with Real Oyster Cult and New York City’s Billion Oyster Project to bring this pairing to the masses nationwide.
What do you get with your purchase, which is available directly from ROC?
- 30 or 60 oysters including East Beach Blonde (Ninigret Pond, RI), ROC Reserve (Duxbury, MA), from Real Oyster Cult’s very own farm, and La St. Simon (New Brunswick, Canada)
- Talisker Shucking Gloves
- 2 Whisky Droppers, for garnishing bivalves with a touch of Talisker
- Oyster Pairings Guide
- 10% off code to purchase any Talisker bottle on Reserve Bar
The price is $79 (30 oyster kit) or $120 (60 oyster kit), which seems pretty reasonable to me. The Talisker you’ll need to find for yourself, though the 10% off code is a nice incentive.
I had the good fortune to enjoy one of the kits and spent an afternoon shucking and sampling the various oysters with Talisker 10 Years Old and Talisker Storm. (The shellfish arrived perfectly chilled, despite shipping all the way to the west coast.) The East Beach Blonde were my favorite variety in the mix — moderate in size, with just the right level of salinity — and they paired the best with Talisker, too. You can try dropping some whisky directly onto the halfshell, but I found chasing an oyster with a sip of neat Talisker was the better way to complete the pairing, as the whisky can easily overpower the delicate oyster when there’s no separation between them.
Oyster fans, this is a great chance to get some great oysters and support a good cause, too: The nonprofit Billion Oyster Project supports oyster reef restoration efforts, with the goal of preserving the marine habitat of New York Harbor for oysters and other species.