Tag Archives: Douglas Laing

Whisky Review – Douglas Laing Old Particular Speyside 17

When I picked up this sample from the box, for a moment my brain froze and I was very confused. is it a way to hide the distillery name and wrap it in a shroud of mystery? But then my brain resumed working – Speyside is indeed a whisky region (and geographic area) in Scotland, but there is a real distillery called Speyside in the Speyside region.

I said to myself, wow, what a cool thing (wonder why there’s no Islay distillery on Islay…). This distillery is not generating lots of buzz in the whisky circles or with whisky fans – I admit I knew almost nothing on it so I went to the internet and found out it’s a relatively new distillery, producing whisky only since 1990 and indeed have a very small capacity (only 500,000 liters a year).

So today, another notch for me – my first Speyside distillery whisky, Douglas Laing Old Particular Speyside 17 years old – is it a classic speyside (region) whisky or not? lets get to the tasting notes 🙂

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Whisky Review – Douglas Laing Bunnahabhain “Young & Feisty” Provenance 9yo

Another day, another young whisky. Yeah, let’s follow yesterday’s young one and check another one and see if it’s any good, and this time a Bunnahabhain, bottled by Douglas McGibbons Co (sister company of Douglas Laing).

Bunnahabhain is one of two distilleries I couldn’t manage to squeeze into my schedule when I visited Islay last October. Old Bunna whiskies are considered very good and are cherished by whisky lovers. That said, I do love their standard 12 yo bottle and I heard good things on previous Y&F Bunnas, so I was curious to see what Douglas Laing McGibbons has prepared for us when they released a new youngish 9 yo Bunna, bottled winter 2014, under their “Young & Feisty” line.


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Whisky Review – Douglas Laing Provenance Glenrothes 9 yo 2004

The whisky blogosphere is rambling and stormy lately discussing the NAS trend that is hitting every shelf around us in the last two years. Yeah, not every NAS bottling is bad, and not all NAS are strictly young aged whisky. But even at this time and place, young whisky (aged less then 10 yo is good definition I think) can still be good – it’s up the distillation process, spirit and cask.

So today, we’ll focus on a young whisky from Glenrothes distillery, bottled by Douglas Laing. It was distilled in 2004 and bottled in late 2013, matured in a single Sherry butt. It was bottled at cask strength which is unusual for their provenance series.


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Whisky Review – Old Malt Cask (OMC) Macallan 15yo Cask #4716

Few weeks ago I’ve been in Speyside tasting event which I happened to revisit some whiskies I had before but also taste some new drams (always a great experience) and one of them was a bit oldie Old Malt Cask Macallan aged 15yo which I review today.

As you probably know, the Old Malt Cask (OMC from now on), was a very successful and popular brand which belonged to the original Douglas Laing company. Last year, the company split to 2 companies – Douglas Laing (retaining old name and some of the brands) and Hunter Laing who got the OMC brand.

So old OMC bottling and a Macallan (before they ventured onto Fine Oak stuff), it must be good, ah?

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Whisky Visit – Douglas Laing HQ, Glasgow

When I planned my Scotland trip, I knew that I want to cover and visit as many whisky related places – large distilleries, small independent distilleries, whisky bars and independent bottlers.

So on a rainy day in Glasgow (are there any other types of days there??) we went to visit Douglas Laing HQ.


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Whisky Review – Douglas Laing Scallywag

After a 2 weeks hiatus due to my Scotland trip it’s time to get back to ‘real’ life and start posting again some tasting notes. I have some in the writing blog posts which I didn’t complete before I left for Scotland and I also have lots to tell you about the trip, but let’s start with some new and sweet whisky review – to sweeten the the comeback.

During the trip I visited Douglas Laing HQ in Glasgow and I’ll write a separate post on that visit but this time – Scallywag! I was fortunate to schedule the visit for the day that Scallywag, their new blended malt, was released, so this one post is all Scallywag.

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Whisky news – Douglas Laing Old Particular, Bowmore Devils casks, Glenfiddich 125th Anniversary Bottling and Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2013 Bottling

Seems like this week distilleries all over were quite busy…

Douglas Laing Old Partiuclar Series Announced

Douglas Laing’s Old Particular is a ‘particularly’ unique series of individually hand-selected aged Single Cask Malts from all over Scotland – each bottled according to the founders’ philosophy of topmost quality. Meaning, Old Particular bottlings are from only one cask, without colouring and without chill filtration – allowing the cask and the naturally present oils, fats and enzymes in the spirit to make their own special contribution to its nose, mouthfeel, palate and finish. Launching this September and available from specialist Whisky retailers, some truly exceptional bottlings feature in this first batch including Malts distilled at Bowmore, Caperdonich and Port Ellen distilleries to name but a few. oldparticular The entire line up for this series is below (ordered by whisky age):

  • OLP0002 Auchentoshan 15 YEARS
  • OLP0021 Braeval 15 YEARS
  • OLP0006 Clynelish 16 YEARS
  • OLP0026 Glen Ord 16 YEARS
  • OLP0018 Arran 17 YEARS
  • OLP0032 Miltonduff 17 YEARS
  • OLP0019 Auchroisk 18 YEARS
  • OLP0023 Caperdonich 18 YEARS
  • OLP0004 Sherry Blair Athol 20 YEARS
  • OLP0025 Glen Keith 20 YEARS
  • OLP0012 Jura 20 YEARS
  • OLP0037 Tomatin 20 YEARS
  • OLP0003 Bladnoch 21 YEARS
  • OLP0028 Glen Garioch 21 YEARS
  • OLP0007 Glen Scotia 21 YEARS
  • OLP0031 Macduff 21 YEARS
  • OLP0005 Bowmore 25 years
  • OLP0014 Tamdhu 25 YEARS
  • OLP0035 Teaninch 30 YEARS
  • OLP0033 Port Ellen 31 YEARS
  • OLP0008 Tobermory 35 YEARS

Morrison Bowmore is to release a special Halloween edition of Bowmore named The Devil’s Casks this October.


Matured exclusively in first fill Sherry casks for 10 years and bottled at a high 56.7% abv, The Devil’s Casks are described as “hot and fiery” with notes of fruitcake, chocolate and dark fruits.

The small batch, limited edition has been created to tell the spooky tale of how the Devil himself was spotted in the round church of Bowmore and chased from Islay onto a paddle steamer carrying a cargo of Bowmore headed for the mainland.

Just 6,000 bottles of the non-chill filtered single malt Scotch have been created, each packaged in a deep red gift box with imagery and text depicting the story.

“Ten years’ maturation in first fill sherry casks has brought out Bowmore’s fiery characteristics,” said Iain McCallum, master of malts for Bowmore. “The notes in this dram are hot and seductive. This small batch release is quite simply, devilishly good.”

Bowmore The Devil’s Casks are being released in October with an allocation of 540 bottles for the UK, carrying an RRP of £50.99.


Glenfiddich125anniversaryThe Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage – part of the Glenfiddich Rare Collection – is a 25-year-old expression first casked in European sherry oak on Christmas Day 1987. Malt master Brian Kinsman then selected a small number of centenary casks so that Glenfiddich founder William Grant’s great-great grandson Peter Gordon and his son Dougal could choose which would become the Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage. Peter Gordon, who is also company director of Glenfiddich, said: “It was an honour to select this whisky – it truly reflects the pioneering spirit that has underpinned our 125 year history and my great-great grandfather’s legacy of making ‘the best dram in the valley’.” With only 286 bottles available, the limited edition expression is said to have notes of fruit cake, almonds, cinnamon, citrus and vanilla on the nose, with spice, sweet sherbet and oak on the palate. “Bottled from just one European oak sherry cask and testament to the uniqueness of this exclusive whisky, Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage has a cask-strength abv of 55.4%. “Glenfiddich has been family-run since 1887 and with the freedom of independence and the foresight of long-term planning, we have created the largest collection of single malt stock anywhere in the world.” Each bottle of Glenfiddich Anniversary Vintage is individually numbered and is finished with a rustic copper and blue design. Officially launched on 9/9/2013, the release comes with an RRP of £699.

Lagavulin Jazz Festival 2013 Bottling Announced

lagavulin_jazz_2013_sA special limited-edition bottling of Lagavulin™ single malt Scotch whisky will again be available at this year’s Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival ( #LagavulinJazz ), which starts on Friday 13 September with a concert in the Malt Mill at Lagavulin distillery by the master of American Stride piano, Stephanie Trick. The third in this series of releases, the 2013 bottling comes in an edition of 1,500 individually numbered bottles filled on 19 January 1995 and drawn from hand-selected Sherry Butts. It is bottled at an ABV of 51.9%. “We’re delighted to announce our third Jazz Festival bottling” said Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach. “The first two have been of quite exceptional quality, and this year we’ve increased the quantity to ensure that it can be enjoyed by visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy the Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival, and those who follow.” The neck labelling continues the jazz theme of previous editions, again featuring a piano keyboard. Bottles will be available to personal visitors only at Lagavulin distillery (limit of two bottles per customer) at a UK RRSP of £99.

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.