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Douglas Laing is Probably a name most whisky drinkers will associate with extremely well priced, top quality single cask bottlings but they also offer a good range of blends and vatted malts including today’s offering.. Scallywag is a ” small batch” expression created using some of the finest Speyside malts available like Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes so you can imagine that this is going to be sherry rich and you wouldn’t be wrong .. Matured in Spanish sherry buts with an odd bourbon cask thrown in for good measure this blend of single malts offers the best of Speyside. img_3818 The bottle proudly hosts a picture of a fox terrier for which the Douglas Laing family have loved for some time with the current ” scallywag ” being named Cooper.. Scallywag is bottled at 46% abv and is of course NCF and has Natural colour.. As is all of the Douglas Laing range.. Nose.. Delightfully subtle, the dark fruits are there and with the help of spices and oak and a little sweetness they make this very pleasant .. Palate.. Fruity at first with hints of apple pie and cinnamon, apple strudel and caramel sauce.. Gentle oak along with some candied orange, chocolate and a little fresh ginger comes into play. Finish..Fresh with a touch of spice. Thoughts.. This is not one to blow your mind but instead it is one that you will want to reach for when you just want to sit back and drink good whisky without having to think about anything other than when you have to re- fill your glass ( that might be often so be warned ! ) Very easy to drink with some very nice flavours this is certainly one for everyone’s whisky cabinet.. Enjoy !



Scallywag Small Batch bottling is a vatted Speyside malt including Mortlach, Macallan and Glenrothes, amongst others. Created by Douglas Laing as a follow up for Big Peat.

Again, Douglas Laing has managed to create a characteristic vatting. The inside does really fit with hat's in the label: a cheeky but smooth terrier.

Scallywag manages to surprise you a lot with its rollercoaster ride. Right at the start it's giving you über-sweetness. And that's what I was actually expecting it to give, when it's coming from the makers of Big Peat. It has to be über-something, right? And being Speyside, it has to be sweet. But then it changes its course very roughly by giving you a mellow but tasty palate without the sweetness. And in the end, it gets really bitter.

Scallywag is like Eddie, the cheeky terrier from Frasier.

Nose: Sweet and yet again, sweet! Sugar frosting with ginger candy and sherry. With a drop of water, some warm spices come kicking in: cinnamon and cardamom.

Taste: After a brief moment, the sweetness goes away. Vanilla is the main character. Cinnamon dominates too. Like Big Peat, this could be in my Christmas table too. Very smooth

Finish: Very, very bitter. Oak and spices with some dark chocolate. Some sherry as well.

Balance: Smooth and pleasant but very versatile. Almost even too versatile. Nose, taste and finish are all opposite to each other. Big character as I was expecting from Douglas Laing.


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.

Assuming you meant Scallywag.

I did and already asked JL to fix it. Silly typo - sorry. I do say Scallywag in the body of the text.

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