RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Skye hotel blends coffee to showcase Talisker

The luxury Cuillin Hills Hotel on the Isle of Skye created the Cuillin Hills blend to match the island’s Talisker whisky.

Peter Sims, the hotel’s general manager, worked with the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company to create a coffee to “complement and showcase malt whisky as the ideal after dinner drink,” says Sims.

The blend, a mixture of Indonesian and South American beans, gives a coffee that is a medium dark roast. It is full-bodied, rich and complex, complementing whisky flavours whilst adding further flavours of its own. The main characteristics of this blend are dark chocolate and a rich nuttiness. Balancing these tastes and adding an underlying sweetness are caramel and toffee notes, the finish is long and luxuriant with hints of liquorice and cinnamon. The Talisker 18-year-old was used as the pairing companion for the coffee blend, notes Sims.

According to Sims, the coffee was created from his joint passion for whisky and coffee and as an add-on service to guests and visitors to the hotel.
He says: “This is an add-on service we offer our guests. We serve the coffee at the hotel and sell it only on our premises. We have no connection with Talisker but they gave us their permission as they saw it as a suitable high-end product.

“When we were developing the blend, I took a bottle of Talisker – and a driver – to Edinburgh to help the Edinburgh Tea and Coffee Company to develop the blend. We buy it in batches of 100 kgs, to make it economical, and have no trouble in selling that quantity.

“We wanted to develop a coffee to complement and showcase malt whisky as the ideal after dinner drink; this coffee certainly does that.  Even Islay whiskies are enhanced, and that’s saying something.”

Sims does not see the coffee as a core revenue stream for the hotel; he declines to allow it to be sold by Talisker whisky as that would require involvement by brand owner Diageo nor does he sell it by mail order. Sales have been steady with guests taking the coffee as far away as Dubai and Germany, he says.

1 June 2009 - James Graham