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 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.
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 🙂