Held in Hobart over the winter solstice each year, Dark Mofo, which started as part of David Walsh’s MONA brand, is a festival unashamedly like no other, that celebrates the weird, makes the challenging of attendees a specific goal, and often asks more questions than it answers.
Given its remote and chilly island location, it’s the perfect place for Talisker to set up shop for the two weeks that Dark Mofo takes over the capital of the Apple Isle. For the past two years, the iconic Scotch whisky distillers from the Isle of Skye have served up hot toddies to revellers, relieved with warm respite from the near-freezing temperatures outside. Drinking a Talisker at Dark Mofo is more sensible ritual than it is anything else: it feels about as genuine as you could get to sipping on on the rocks outside the distillery without having to travel to Scotland.
Tasmania shares many geographical traits with the Isle of Skye, home of Talisker (the rugged coastline for one), and Talisker’s delicious drams are maritime in nature: slightly saline and slightly peated, with a lovely enduring minerality on the finish, a fact summed up by their famous tagline: Made by the sea.
Surrounded by open fires, guests will once again be able to relax in a cosy spot at the Talisker Wilderness Bar, which will be pouring the brand’s speciality: a twist on winter drinks. The Talisker Campfire Hot Chocolate and the Talisker Spiced Hot Toddy, made with Talisker 10 Year Old, honey, lemon, spices, and gum leaves are both on the radar for winter warmers, as is their Tasmanian blue cheese jaffle. Other drinks will include the festival favourite, Talisker Skye & ginger as well as Talisker boilermakers matched with local Tasmanian craft beer Moo Brew.
There’ll also be a Talisker bar at Dark Mofo’s renowned Winter Feast.
Talisker Whisky Ambassador Katie Nagar describes Talisker as a: “Single malt with flavour that has a sense of place, with sweet smoke and pepper and salt from an island battered by wind and waves.
“Australian winters really do provide the perfect backdrop to cosy up with a Talisker in hand, and the serves that we have created for Dark Mofo are perfect to showcase the unique flavours of Talisker while being accessible to those who may be starting their whisky adventure.”
Talisker is also encouraging festivalgoers to get off the beaten track and explore Hobart’s beautiful surrounds, curating a guide of five experiences designed to let participants ‘disconnect with the daily grind and reconnect with nature’s elements’.
The experiences include Satellite Island, a private sanctuary in the heart of the magnificent D’Entrecasteaux Channel, a short boat-ride from Hobart. Satellite Island is touted as a rugged wonderland of hidden coves and pebble beaches, completely unspoilt by civilisation, and is an excellent spot for a bit of seal-watching.
There’s also Bruny Island, with its sprawling green landscapes, jagged dolerite sea cliffs and untouched bays, perfect for freshly shucked oysters straight from the water, or a trip to Seven Mile Beach to take in the Aurora Australis (many remain blissfully unaware that Tasmania is one of the best places in the world to see the Southern Lights.)
Dark Mofo has historically been a huge shot in the arm for Tasmania’s up-until-recently diminutive tourism economy, but with brands like Talisker embracing the tiny city and the island as a whole, and encouraging visitors to see more of the place than the open-pit fires, performance art and late-nights that Dark Mofo offers, it’s great to see more and more people getting on board, embracing the weird, and making the trek to Tassie in the middle of winter.
The Talisker Wilderness Bar is located on the Dark Path and The Talisker Winter Feast Bar is located in the main hall. For more information about the Dark Mofo festival, click the link below.
The Talisker Wilderness Bar, Dark Path:
Friday 14–Sunday 16 June, 5–10pm
Wednesday 19–Sunday 23 June, 5–10pm
The Talisker Winter Feast Bar:
Friday 14 + Saturday 15 June, 4–11pm
Sunday 16 June, 4–10pm
Wednesday 19 June, 4–10pm
Thursday 20 June, 4–10pm
Friday 21 + Saturday 22 June, 4–11pm
Sunday 23 June, 4–10pm