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Rock Oyster

Average score from 2 reviews and 3 ratings 85

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.

Thanks for this review. I've walked by this one quite a few times, but have never pulled the trigger on it. This review sounds like a vote in the "buy it" column. I wonder if it would be good in a Caesar? stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

I've been intrigued by this one for a while - probably since I had a bottle of the Six Isles blended malt. It too was decent but I've tended to shy away from the blended malts in favour of the singles (mostly to experience the different distilleries individual styles and because they tend to be NAS). That being said, I think I've just bought a bottle of blended malt - more about that soon.


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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