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Rock Oyster

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 86

Rock Oyster

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Rock Oyster

This Douglas Laing bottling is a vatting of malts from the Isles of Orkney, Arran, Jura and Islay - the idea being to create an Island blended malt to perfectly illustrate that particular style. As with all Laing bottlings, it is non-coloured and non-chill-filtered.

The colour is a very pale yellow with lime-green highlights. The nose leads with a freshly ground pepper blend (black and red), and also features bright lemon, smoked hickory, pine needles and lots of brine. There's peat, but it's not exactly a big Islay bonfire; more heathery and herbal than smoky. Chili chocolate. Green coffee beans. Light vanilla. Oyster shells (of course). Very grassy. Water brings out malt, plus more saline minerality. All these notes stay within the briny, rocky, sea-faring theme so if that's what you like, you'll love it - but it stays within the lines.

On the palate we have Asian pear, sweet peat and a big hit of salt-and-pepper. Oily mouthfeel. Tons of lemon. Like the flavour of an oyster after it's been spritzed with lemon, only without the actual oyster - in other words you get all the brine, minerality and citrus but without the actual seafood. There is also green banana and a gin-juniper note. Spicier with water. Really delicious but like the nose, it remains pitched at a certain level and never deviates from it.

The endless finish is all pepper and lemon, with a hint of pine shavings. I love all the brine, peat and spice but it's a bit too light - it could use some balance with some heavier notes (sherry, oak, deeper fruits, etc). Bracing stuff, though, and while I wouldn't actually make a martini out of this, I would add some of this to one to give it more character.

Think I'll go back to my local LCBO to pick a bottle at the clearance price - 87 points for a $52 bottle seems like a good deal. Thank you for this timely review!

@Hewie, I think we talked about this a few months ago, but I've had The Six Isles and Rock Oyster side-by-side, and I liked The Six lsles a lot more. Rock Oyster has some zip to it, but The Six Isles is just a more complete whisky.


This is the fourth blended malt from Douglas Laing. After their Big Peat (Islay), Scallywag (Speyside), Timorous Beastie (Highlands), they now offes this Rock Oyster. It represents the Islands (although it also contains some Islay whisky). I look forward to the stuff they come up with for Campbeltown and the Lowland. Anyway, this NAS-bottling is composed of malts from the Isle of Arran, Orkey, Isle of Jura and Islay. Hence, I expect quite a maritime malt.

It is peaty, but not overly so. On the contrary. I mostly get sweet malt and a truckload of apples. Quite a bit of mint as well. Touches of unbaked bread. Yeast. Seaweeds and a salty lining in the background. THis is quite nice.

Soft arrival on the palate (could do with a bit more body, I think), but fresh and lively and immediately the peat goes to work. Nice development of smoke and a lot of sea salt. Almost brackish. Luckily that is tempered somewhat by the sweet apples and the honey. Pepper and salt.

The long finish starts out sweet, but then becomes dry on peat, ashes and stockfish.

I have no idea where the oysters (or the rocks for that matter) refer to, but I can imagine this would go well with oyster. Great packaging, by the way.

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