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This is the Douglas Laing & Co 'Old Malt Cask' bottling (not the one pictured).
The smell is initially sea salt, peat, smoke and even a hint of iodine, but gives way to a fruity, vanilla, toffee sweetness. Despite having such strong sounding flavours, it is a genuinely gentle nose. So much so, that after the glass of Smith's 8 Year old, I had to have a glass of water to clear my palate enough to smell anything! Really complex and enjoyable, just not very strong.
The taste is gentle like the nose, but warms nicely and has all the same initial notes - sea salt, peat and smoke. This gives way to subtler notes of caramel fruitiness, with hints of maple syrup. This malt has an unusual taste to it I find hard to describe - it is like the taste of ice, but not cold. This taste balances out the savoury peat, smoke, and the caramel sweetness to give it a refreshing note. Just a hint of spirit buzz right at the end. Mouth-watering, gentle and very complex!
The finish is the strongest part! And while it is long and warming like any good finish should be, it is still fairly restrained. Not much peat in the finish, but plenty of sea salt and smoke, with caramel sweetness in the background.
I was fairly blown away by this malt. It's like an Islay malt, but gentle and mild-mannered! It is too gentle to have after a lot of other malts, even some fairly gentle speysides, but if you get to this one first, it is genuinely fantastic!