- Brand: Douglas Laing
- ABV: 46.8%
I received this sample from @fiddich1980 and tasted it on two separate occasions. The first tasting was done blind (those of us who participated posted our impressions in the “Blind Tastings” thread); I had no idea what I was drinking. The second tasting was done after the reveal, with the second half of the sample having been exposed to a bit of air, which may have led to some oxidation.
First tasting (tasted blind February 16, 2019)
I was told this was a blended malt whisky, but I was not told anything else. Sample tasted neat, from a Glencairn glass.
- Nose: fruity, tea sweetened with honey, something a bit sharp, lemon perhaps...with time the lemon mixes with a sweet vanilla note, almost like lemon meringue pie. (Side note: I don't like lemon meringue pie)
- Palate: some richness, a little oakiness, a touch of waxiness, more honey, reminiscent of Balvenie, there are Sherry casks in the mix, but it’s not a sherry bomb by any means...
- Finish: raisins, oak, barley, somewhat sharp and nippy, almost like a young Glenfiddich
I wasn't super impressed with this whisky, but perhaps my perception was skewed by the fact that I had a heavily peated whisky before tasting this one. It tasted a bit immature and the finish was a bit too sharp for my liking. Not a bad whisky, but I didn't want to rush out and buy a bottle either.
My best guesses as to the component malts were: Balvenie, Linkwood, Glenfiddich, Cardhu, Clynelish
Score after first tasting: 82/100
So the reveal was not uber-surprising. I don't have a ton of experience with the actual component whiskies. The malts listed on the label/packaging are from the following distilleries: Blair Athol, Glen Garioch, Dalmore, and Glengoyne.
The second tasting was done almost a month later with the second half of my sample, albeit with a "clean" palate this time.
Second tasting (around March 10, 2019)
Sampled neat from a copita
- Nose: multigrain toast with honey, pears, tea, some raisins, the lemony note is either gone or it's been subdued with time.
- Palate: oak-forward arrival, a little thin but with some waxiness, honey, raisins
- Finish: medium length, oak and vanilla, still a touch sharp, with a tannic bitterness at the tail end. That bitterness is not a positive thing.
It’s gotten worse with time and air; the nose is still pleasant, but the palate and finish fall short. I'd score it 78/100 if I was basing my experience on the second tasting alone. I'd recommend you try this one before buying a bottle. I won’t be buying a bottle, as this is just not my thing. I see where Douglas Laing is going with this whisky, and maybe it's appropriate that they chose the poetic little mouse as an emblem for this whisky rather than a big, burly Highlander. It's not a bad whisky, but it's not what I look for in a bottle either.
Aggregate score: 80/100 points