Malt Mongers Israel Douglas Laing Evening

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Our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel, usually takes a break in August, but we had a special ad hoc meeting this month and with good reason. Independent bottlings are making a return to our shelves! Sipil, a local online store and importer which is very familiar to all the hardcore whisky geeks here, has begun importing Douglas Laing’s range.

This is not the first time Douglas Laing has been brought to our shores, but the previous attempt saw a very limited number of bottlings making their way over, and thus failed to garner much interest.

Yigal from Sipil organised this evening for us where we could try all of the initial range of stuff he will be bringing in. The evening was expertly hosted by our club’s own Michael (who blogs over at Malt & Oak) who is the recently appointed brand ambassador for Douglas Laing.

Aside from all 5 of their regional malts, we got to try:

  • An 8 year old Bunnahabhain from the Provenance range
  • An 8 year old Mortlach from the Provenance range
  • A 12 year old sherry cask Glenrothes from the Old Particular range
  • A special 13 year old release of the Scallywag Speyside regional malt
  • A 21 year old Glen Garioch from the Old Particular range

I took notes for the first three and am kind of disappointed that I didn’t take any for the Glen Garioch as it was the star of the evening in my eyes, but I also just wanted to enjoy myself a little.


Bunnahabhain 2008 Provanance

Aged 8 years. 46% ABV. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from a single cask. 

Nose: Feels very young, but not wholly unpleasant. Porridge. Icing sugar. Dry lemon. Wine cake. Marzipan. Slight note of fresh green herbs.

Palate: Aggressive, a tad too much so. Bitter citrus and sour apples. Sourdough. Woodspice. Yeast.

Finish: Long. Sourdough. Citrus peel. Very dry but feels empty.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: No

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 2/5

Unfortunately this one was a bit too young. While Bunnahabhain can be phenomenal young it usually requires some peat or cask influence to balance out all that aggressiveness which is not the case here.


Mortlach 2008 Provenance

Aged 8 years. 46% ABV. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from a single cask. 

Nose: Dunnage. Porridge. Herbal honey. Brine. Peaches in wine.

Palate: Sour malt. Floral. Stone fruits. Plums. Lychee. Cloves.

Finish: Medium long. Cloves continue. Dried fruits. Bitter wood.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 4/5

This one was a big surprise for me. Mortlach usually goes well with sherry and age, but this one had neither of those. The colour was lighter than white wine, so really very little cask influence, and yet the richness and complexity of flavour was astounding, really speaks volumes for the quality of the raw spirit (which is essentially the point of the provenance range).


Glenrothes 12 Old Particular

Aged 12 years. 48.4% ABV. Matured in a sherry butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from a single cask. 

Nose: Sulphury sherry. Candied orange peel. Marmalade. Gasoline. Slight notes of light roast coffee and assam tea.

Palate: Dry sherry. Brown glue. Milk chocolate. Stone fruits. Toffee.

Finish: Long. Toffee. Sulphur. Wine tannins. Vicks cough syrup.

Would I buy this: Yes

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes

VFM: 3/5

This one wasn’t just a sherry bomb but a sulphury sherry bomb. That obviously meant it wasn’t to everyone’s liking but I sure as shit enjoyed it. I really love dirty, sulphury sherry notes in my whisky. There were also these lingering aromatic notes like craft glue and cough syrup, quite intoxicating really. Lovely stuff.


So those are the three drams I took notes for. Aside from the Bunnahabhain which felt a little unready to me, I really enjoyed what was on offer. The Glen Garioch was quite special, made from old peated stock, it had a lovely combination of sweet and savoury notes. Really will try get hold of some to review. I also quite a few sips of Big Peat. I’ve tried all of the regional malts, and it remains my favourite. A really lovely evening and hopefully this will lead to more and more independent bottlers appearing on our local shelves.

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