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.
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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 →
Today I’ll be reviewing a whisky which I consider as a controversial one. If there was a dictionary entry for this definition, it’d have a picture of this whisky – the Douglas Laing Old Particular Aultmore XO.
It all started few months ago, when 4 new and exclusive whiskies arrived to our not-so-whisky-central duty free shop in the local airport (TLV, in case you wonder). You should understand, the chance of that happening is equal to winning the national lottery. Yeah, it’s pretty rare.
I recall discussing those 4 whiskies with my friend and fellow blogger, Michael (of Malt & Oak blog) and there was one whisky that piqued our whisky geek senses, yeah, this one – the OP Aultmore XO. After all, how could it not? It’s a pricey sherried Aultmore, a single cask bottling yet there’s no age statement. Instead, it’s titled with XO on the label. However, XO is not a legal age according to SWA, so it falls under the NAS category. but using XO in the whisky name? Nowadays, it’s rarely used in the whisky industry (was used sporadically in the past) and is a term much more recognized from the brandy/cognac sector. Continue reading →
I encountered this bottle in a whisky night with friends at the bar who hosted us for the evening and the bar owner allowed us to sample it.
It’s an older bottling of Mortlach, bottled by Douglas Laing under their Provenance brand name. It was distilled in Autumn 1997,aged over 12 yo in a refill butt #6372 and bottled summer 2010
It’s a bit young Mortlach but I bet it still have the familiar distillery profile. Right?
Douglas Laing Provenance Mortlach 12 Years Old 1997 (46%)
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After two weeks hiatus it’s time to resume the Social Media Distilled interviews and today allow me to present Douglas Laings’ own Mystic.
Yeah, I can see your eyebrows going all the way up to the ceiling, especially readers who know Douglas Laing personnel. Mystic? Who’s she? After all, Douglas Laing isn’t a big operation.
I do have a very educated guess who’s behind Douglas Laing social networks presence but anonymity was selected from their side for their own reasons (your guess is good as mine) and as such we need to respect it. So if I can’t use real name, I thought ‘Mystic’ is a proper nickname, don’t you think so? Even she liked it!
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
The other Mystic… 🙂
Well that’s a bit of the mystique… who handles Douglas Laing’s “Social Media”?! I will divulge a little but not a lot – I am a dyed in the wool whisky enthusiast! I love what I do and I enjoy Social Media platforms!
What is your exact position in Douglas Laing? Could you tell us a little about your journey in the whisky industry? How much of your day to day activity is dedicated to social media? Continue reading →
OK, time for one more whisky from Douglas Laing and this time a whisky from mostly unrecognized distillery bottled for Douglas Laing premium brand ‘Directors Cut’ – Balmenach 30 years old.
Unless you’re a whisky geek/nerd, you probably didn’t hear of Balmenach before. and it’s no wonder as Balmenach don’t bottle their own single malt with most of their production going into blends such as Hankey Bannister. So it’s a great opportunity to try some single malt independent bottling from such distillery (first Balmenach whisky for me), especially when it’s a 30 year old!
This cask was was distilled in September, matured for 30 years in a refill hogshead #10162 before bottling in December 2013 by Douglas Laing.
Douglas Laing Directors’ Cut Balmenach 30 (52.8%, 111 bottles, buy for £192 here)
Nose: Hmm. subdued at first, takes a bit to open up. Creamy and buttery sweet green apples along with vanilla and heather honey flipping to mild sweet floral & farm notes. Very complex, elegant and balanced nose.
Palate: Starts with sweet meadow, cut grasses and huge floral notes followed by second wave of heat and long gentle spiciness and some gentle loving oak wood. Hmmm…delicious!
Finish: Medium-Long length, lingering heat, spiciness and sweetness. oak wood with some burnt/toasted edge still fresh and lively despite being 30 year old.
Conclusion: Superb whisky from the relatively unknown distillery – good combination of floral and sweet notes all tamed down by age in a good cask. Good job by the crew at Douglas Laing for bottling this cask. I should look for more Balmenach bottlings in the future.
(Official sample from the Douglas Laing)
I love Douglas Laing Old Particular line. I’ve tasted a couple of them when I visited their HQ in Glasgow last October (you can see the post here) and they all were rock solid or excellent.
During that visit, we tasted the bit controversial Old Particular Bowmore 25 yo which proudly carry the FWP attribute (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about) and the jury was still out there for me.
And now, few months later, here’s another Old Particular Bowmore but this time a 17 years old which was bottled in December 2013. Let’s taste it and see how does it compares to the older sibling.
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