We had a lovely weekend with colder weather and rain but seems like we’re cutting straight into springtime here with warmer weather and greenery everywhere. Time for some springtime fitting whisky, a 12 Year Old Mortlach charged from a single bourbon cask.
Mortlach fitting for springtime? Well, Even though I’m coming from the “whisky fits all seasons” school, if you’re not following this rule, just bear with me for a little more and read the tasting notes below before disagreeing with me.
Douglas Laing Old Particular Mortlach 12 Year Old (DL12363, 48.4%, £60.95/350NIS)
Nose: You feel the Mortlachness here with dense and heavy nose, hazelnuts, fresh grapefruit peels and juice, bread-y, dough, fresh Granny Smith apples, vanilla and a big dash of honey. Continue reading
A review of a blended whisky? Sure, why not? Especially when it’s a blended whisky with a pedigree:
All the way back in 1958, a rare blend of Scotch malt and grain whiskies was found in 10 casks in a warehouse owned by William Muir Bond 9 Limited. Having been distilled in 1954 and made to a recipe that dates back to the 1800s which was enjoyed by royalty, it’s safe to say it was quite a good find indeed.
In 1966, when the whisky was 12 years old, a quantity was bottled for the Directors of William Muir Bond 9 Limited and a close group of friends. A total of 6 accountants and lawyers made it possible, forming Syndicate 58/6.
The Syndicate blend contains 18 Single Malt Whiskies and 4 Single Grain Whiskies. A ‘Solera’ system is used and additional 12 year Old whiskies are added so they are reblended with older stock (Thus it still contains small quantities of the original 1958 blend). The blend is then married and finally matured for up to 2 years in 4 year old Oloroso Sherry casks from Andalucia.
Syndicate 58/6 12 Year Old (40%, £30)
Nose: Sweet, fruit and grain, pencil shavings, oranges and dried fruit, raspberries and strawberry, cinnamon, a bit of wood glue, then it becomes fruity again with the addition of green melon, harmonized and balanced. After a while develops some fruity perfume. Continue reading
I’ve realized that once again life and work consumes most of my time in the last few weeks, leaving almost no free time to work on the blog. But I think that going for a quick and down to earth review mode may help building the momentum again.
Let’s get festive with the latest Douglas Laing Christmas Edition of Big Peat. This series has been going for a few years already and always provided a good value.
Big Peat Christmas 2017 (54.1%, £53.95/€52,95)
Nose: Young and malty. Then sweet peat with gentle smoke, honey, some Ardbeg fruitiness, pears. Getting smokier after a while with newly developed ashes note. Continue reading
A quick review for Sunday as you’re either slumbering as part of your weekend rituals or you’re swamped with work after getting back to work. Either way, here’s something real nice to end/start the week – a review of Rock Oyster 18 Year Old.
Rock Oyster 18 is a limited edition in the Islands blended malts series from Douglas Laing. It was released along with Timorous Beastie 18 (reviewed here) and it contains whiskies from Arran, Orkney, Jura and Islay. As usual it’s non chill-filtered and without colouring.
Rock Oyster 18 Year Old (46.8%, £72.50/€76,99)
Nose: Soft, starting with salt, meat, seaweed, honey and then then peat and bonfire smoke, a bit of tar, very maritime! Continue reading
Today’s review is the forth and latest release under the ‘Timorous Beastie’ label from Douglas Laing, the Timorous Beastie 18 Year Old that was released last May. We’ll review this today and next week we’ll check out both the 21 year old and the 40 year old that were released last year.
Timorous Beastie is Douglas Laing label for highlands blended malt. In this case, It’s a vatting of whiskies from Blair Athol, Dalmore, Glengoyne and Glen Garioch. A quite large batch of 7258 bottles was produced with a bit of an uneven pricing where it’s noticeably cheaper in mainland Europe than in UK. As usual with Douglas Laing, it’s non chill-filtered and without colouring.
Timorous Beastie 18 Year Old (46.8%, £74.50/€67,90)
Nose: Malty, damp wood shows up at first but is waved away later on, honey, pie dough and frankly, it’s quite bready. White pepper, subdued creamy fruitiness and apples and it developed a mineral edge after a few minutes Continue reading
Last month Douglas Laing has released the last missing piece of their Remarkable Regional Malt series, The Gauldrons, representing the Campbeltown region.
The Gauldrons in Gaelic means “bay of storms” and this is the bay located west to Campbeltown. The legend says that Robert the Bruce was inspired there by a spider rebuilding his net to keep fighting, hence the golden web on the bottle label and tube.
Since there are only three distilleries in the region, I think we can quite safely assume that 99% (if not 100%) of this blend comes from Glen Scotia and Springbank due to the limited supply from Glengyle which is kept for internal usage. Let’s check just how Campbeltown-y is it.
The Gauldrons (46.2%, £49.99/€54,49)
Nose: Hits the nose with Campbeltown dirtiness with a big infusion of Springbank character, peat and oils but on the other hand is missing most of the greenery and the damp earthy peat (thanks to the Glen Scotia malt in this whisky). Malty with big dose of pastry dough, honey and lemon and a sprinkle of salt. After a few minutes, some of that missing greenery comes up (can’t stop that Springbank!). Continue reading
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