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Last week a small box from the Douglas Laing HQ arrived in my mailbox. Inside I found a sample of their newest release Scallywag (which is slang for rascal or mischievous rogue). It is a Small Batch Release with only Speyside Malts lead by Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes. Most malts matured on Spanish sherry butts, because Laing & Co aimed for a sweet sidekick to their peaty Big Peat. The Fox Terrier on the packaging is actually Fred Laing’s dog. Nice touch.
The nose is indeed very sweet. A dominant sherry sweetness on the one hand, but notes of vanilla and butterscotch, undoubtedly from the bourbon casks in the mix, on the other. The sherry evolves from sultanas towards berries and cake, but I also get some tobacco (amber blend). Besides nutmeg and cinnamon, there is also a wonderful warm marmalade of white fruit. Hints of struck match. Or incense. Very accessible, maybe even a bit docile, but first and foremost wonderfully sweet.
On the palate, it is creamy and fresh at the same time. Fresh as in fruity with a mild bitterness from lime zest. Creamy as in a chunk of dark chocolate melting on the tongue. A feisty rascal indeed. Hints of red fruits. And again: very sweet. This is truly for those with a sweet tooth.
The finish is rather short on vanilla and a touch of oak.
Wow, what a beautiful blended malt. With a price tag of around £35, this will undoubtedly become as big a hit as Big Peat. Ideal with dessert, I say. Thank you, Fred, Cara and Chris, for the sample.