Douglas Laing, the Independent bottlers, has been building upon their regional malts brand success in the last year. First there were the 5 regional malts, Big Peat, Scallywag, Timorous Beastie, Rock Oyster and The Epicurean along with three Cask Strength variants: Big Peat X-mas, Scallywag CS and Rock Oyster CS. But in the last year, we’ve seen a wave of limited editions with age statements. It started with Timorous Beastie 21 & 40 (note to self: post the review already!) and then came Scallywag 13 Year Old which is the subject of today’s review. There is also a duo of 18 Year Old that were now released, Timorous Beastie 18 (Yes, another one in the series) and Rock Oyster 18 which I hope to review in the not too far future.
The Scallywag theme is Sherried Speyside, based on Glenrothes, Macallan and Mortlach. I liked the basic Scallywag and the Cask Strength edition, so will the 13 yo stay true to the tradition?
Douglas Laing Scallywag 13 Year Old (46%, £53.95/€69,99)
Nose: Velvety sweet lightly dried fruit, sultanas, strong vanilla and a malt porridge so must be some American oak in there. Slowly a rich and deep milk chocolate note shows up coupled with nutmeg and a dash of cinnamon. Continue reading
Better late than never but it’s about time I’ll check out the latest batch of Scallywag Cask Strength. I had the magical opportunity to be at Douglas Laing HQ when the original Scallyway was released and I loved it so lets check it out and see if this batch of the Cask Strength (4800 bottles) manages to keep up to the high standard of the original.
Douglas Laing Scallywag Cask Strength Batch #2 (54.1%, £45.98/€54,90)
Nose: Malty which isn’t surprising as I assume it will be young, and energetic (thanks to those extra %), strong sherry impact, dried berries, sultanas, white pepper, demerara sugar, vanilla pods are scatter through, quite lively and punchy. Continue reading
Another day in October, another review of a whisky release for the holidays. This time, the latest annual edition of one of the few bottlings that actually admit it’s targeted at Xmas shoppers: Big Peat Xmas Edition and today it’s a review of their new 2015 edition.
Just like the normal Big Peat, it contains malts from various Islay distilleries, and like the previous annual Xmas editions, is bottled at cask strength and this year it’s 53.8%.
Big peat Xmas Edition 2015 (53.8%, £49.95/€48.90 )
Nose: First sniff screams YOUNG! But not all young whiskies are equal so let’s paddle on. Sweet peat and with barely any smoke, malty, lemon, citrus peels, fresh apricots, somehow it feels like a lightweight and fresh whisky, and fresh is the keyword here. Continue reading
This is the second review today to celebrate the Laphroaig open day at Feis Ile 2015. The first review is the Cairdeas 2014 and here we’re reviewing the Douglas Laing release for Feis Ile 2015 celebration.
Old Particular Laphroaig 14 Cask #10694 (Douglas Laing) (48.4%, 636 bottles, £90.43)
Nose: Rich nose! sweet fruity nose backed up by strong and solid yet no sharp edges Laphroaig peat with smoke, iodine and TCP. Giving it a minute or two in the glass the fruits get sharpened a bit and there’s also lemon and sugar coated stone fruits. Here comes the brine and salt. Overall it’s a very wet and soft yet recognizably Laphroaig.
The NAS rage continues as more NAS whiskies are announced. Talisker Skye, Glenlivet Founders Reserve (which actually replaces the Glenlivet 12yo in some markets!) and more. The NAS topic was already discussed in length on Whisky Gospel and on other blogs but there’s one aspect I didn’t see covered – what about Independent bottlers?
As the demand to single malts soar, even in the current market climate, the stock of aged barrels dwindle down. Distilleries have access to their own warehouse and therefor release NAS whiskies so they can have flexible usage of their own stock and use more young casks instead of aged casks. But Independent bottlers don’t have such free access (unless they pay for it) and they too don’t want to overuse their aged casks which they bought when prices weren’t as high as nowadays. The solution? Vatted malt releases – stick with malts, mix different casks from different distilleries and release a new whisky to satisfy the market demands!
We’ve seen many Vatted malt releases over the last 2 years, with three of them coming from Douglas Laing with the latest one being an Islands themed malt named Rock Oyster.
Rock Oyster promise lots of maritime, sweet peat, smoke, honey and pepper. Shall we put it to the test?
Douglas Laing Rock Oyster (46.8%, £35.95/€43.49 )
Nose: Creamy malt, chimney smoke, peat, sweet lemon cheesecake, sea air. All in all very balanced and cheesy. Continue reading
It was finally cold last night and I had to turn off the ventilator and use a blanket! We’re past the equinox and finally winter is showing signs of life. And do you know what does it means? Winter is coming indeed but I was thinking of: Holidays are coming!
We’re seeing a big wave of releases geared toward holidays shopping. As usual there are also some annual releases in that wave and one that I’m always waiting for is Big Peat the Xmas Edition.
I have a bottle of the regular Big Peat, which is a huge success around the world (and I should really publish the tasting notes for it, I know!) and during my visit to Douglas Laing HQ tasted 2 of their special editions which were awesome for blended peated whisky. And how does the new edition fare? Continue reading
Last October I had the honor to visit Douglas Laing HQ on the day when they released Scallywag (my visit recap here and the liquid recap here 🙂 )
Scallywag was Big Peat companion, and now, almost a year after, we meet Timorous Beastie, the companion to Scallywag, right?
Scallywag was sherried speyside and Timorous completes it by being a highlands whisky. It contains single malts from Dalmore, Glengoyne, Glen Garioch and others and is bottled at 46.8%.
so how beast-ly is this mouse? Continue reading