Last month the blended malt whisky market got suddenly crowded when we got not one but two new highlands blended malt whiskies.
Racing neck to neck are Hunter Laing with their new Highland Journey release and Douglas Laing with Timorous Beastie. Yup, the Laing companies that formed 1.5 years ago are competing one against each other.
But are they? Do they target the same audience?
Lets start with Hunter Laings’ Highland Journey. It’s Hunter Laing first blended malt as According to the official press release it was inspired by Stewart Laing’s first visits to the Highlands as a child with his father and Highland Journey is composed of malts distilled exclusively in the Highlands region and it contains whiskies matured in bourbon and sherry casks.
Hunter Laing Highland Journey (46.2%, £29.99)
Nose: Starts very malty and reminds me a lot the smell in the washback rooms in distilleries I visited, meadow and hey, young and unripe green fruits, honey, toffee, active and youngish nose. with some additional time in glass, more sherry impact is noticed with raisins and plums but only very little.
Palate: Creamy, vanilla, lots of malt, some coffee and roasted beans in it (sherry impact I assume), waxy, and some spices,
Finish: Medium, malty, spices and lingering waxy feeling
Thoughts: Well, this one is not for malt geeks. It’s a beginners whisky positioned one rung up the ladder from standard/supermarket blends, targeting blend drinkers and providing them a smooth transition into the single malts world as it’s a light and smooth drinking whisky.
(Official sample provided by Hunter Laing)