Whisky review – Balblair 20 Year Old 1990 – Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing)

Summertime here in Israel is not the best season for whisky, way too hot to drink unless Air-con is turned on and even then, I feel reluctant to drink or even write whisky reviews – but sometimes we’re lucky and have a cool breeze in the evening which just calls for some summery dram. Last evening was just like this and I used the occasion to write a review of a dram fitting for such evening.

I love Balblair whisky after tasting a few of their bottles, and I was very happy to taste another one at our recent tasting evening – this time an indie bottling 20 yo Balblair from a well known brand – Old Malt Cask from Douglas Laing.

If you follow the Whisky industry news, unless you’ve been lurking under a rock, you probably know that a few months ago the original Douglas Laing company went through big transformation and divided into 2 companies: Douglas Laing, headed by Fred Laing and his daughter Clara, and Hunter Laing, headed by Stewart Laing and his 2 sons Scott and Andrew. They divided the original company brands between them and I’m sure new excellent brands will be created as well.

This dram of course dates from before the change – can we learn from it what the future will bring for the new companies?

Balblair 20 Year Old 1990 – Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing) (50% ABV, £73)

balblair-20-year-old-1990-old-malt-cask-douglas-laing-whiskyNose: hmm, lovely nose – lots of fruits and sherry notes which throws me at thinking of a summer evening with cool breeze. very malty, sweet freshness, some vanilla and oak hides in there as well.

Palate: Hmm, think and full bodied, although much less of the sherry profile is shown here and it’s more of the malt and fruits (apricots comes to mind). With added drop of water, the fruity notes turns into somewhat tropical flavor of pineapple and mango. Very tasty.

Finish: Medium length, lingering malt and some spicy oak and fluffy notes of fruits.

Conclusion: A very lovely bottling by the chaps of Douglas Laing. It’s a great summer evening dram when the wind blows and there’s a cool breeze chilling the hot air at the end of day. If they will maintain this high standard, I foresee them a bright future and expects a lot of great whisky from both companies (for winter and summer). I’ll use this occasion to wish them godspeed in their new way.



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