More Douglas Laing with Malt Mongers Israel

IMG_20171225_200001

Once again our whisky club, Malt Mongers Israel (MMI), met up to try some more whisky, because there sure it a lot of it to try. And once again we tried some Douglas Laing bottlings. DL’s importer here in Israel, SIPIL, has brought in some more bottlings and let us have a preview of them.


The range we tasted was:

  • Rock Oyster 18 – An 18 year old version of DL’s Island regional blended malt.
  • Timorous Beastie 18 – Same deal as the Rock Oyster, 18 year old version of their Highland regional blended malt.
  • Bruichladdich 12 Old Particular – An ex-bourbon Bruichladdich, Cask DL 12013.
  • Glenrothes 12 Old Particular – Matured in a sherry butt, cask DL 11792. We’d tried a 12 year old, sherry-matured Glenrothes at our last Douglas Laing Evening, but this is from a different cask. This was priced significantly higher but apparently DL demand a higher price for this as they feel it is a superioir cask. More on that in a bit.
  • Ben Nevis 21 Old Particular – Matured in a refill butt. Cask DL 11767

Rock Oyster 18

Aged 18 years. 46.8% ABV. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.

Nose: Stewed fruits. Slight gunpowder. Chemical smoke. Plums.

Palate: Sulphur. Ozone. Dry wood. Stewed plums. Honey.

Finish: Medium, sulphur. Stewed fruit. Brown sugar. Maple syrup.

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

This wasn’t a bad dram but it suffers from a lack of defining character. Some of the component malts here age very well and have some lovely distinct notes to them and here I found none of those.


Timorous Beastie 18

Aged 18 years. 46.8% ABV. No colourant added and non-cgill filtered.

Nose: Straw. Sweets. Gooseberries. Icing sugar. Marmalade. Toast.

Palate: A bit thin feeling. Meaty fruit notes. Barley cream. Herbal honey

Finish: Medium. Malt. Sour. Butter wood. Stewed fruits. Woodspice.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

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

VFM: 2/5

I’m not a huge fan of the regualr Beastie. This one was a good deal better thanks to the aging, but still suffers from the problem that a few of these regional malts have, they cross off all the boxes you’d expect from a malt from whatever region they’re from but don’t really have anything that defines them as unique. Add to this the slightly watery palate on this and it’s definitely a pass for me.


Bruichladdich 12 Old Particular

Aged 21 years. 48.4% ABV. Matured in a first fill bourbon barrel. No colourant added, non-chill filetered and bottled from cask DL 12013.

Nose: Honey. Lactic caramel. Maltesers. Lemon curd. Slight ashy note, not from peat. Pineapple juice.

Palate: Bitter wood. Wood oils. Pineapple. Lemon curd. Slight wood smoke. Herbal honey. Honeycomb candy (think Cadbury’s Crunchie). Vanilla. Condensed milk. Orange sherbert.

Finish: Long. Vanilla. Orange sherbet. Heavy cream. Fruit leather. Wisps of wood smoke.

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

What a dram. I think a few of us, myself included, initially dismissed it as just another independently bottled Laddie, but once we got to tasting it, it won over quite a few of us. It’s very lactic even for a Laddie, so be warned those who don’t like that, but its a lovely, soft, sweet dram with a few very surprising whisps of peat smoke to it, no idea where that could be from. I ended up taking one of these home with me.


Glenrothes 12 Old Particular

Aged 12 years. 48.4% ABV. Matured in a sherry butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from cask DL 11792

Nose: Brown glue. Fruit cake. Cherries. Nutty wood. Toffee. Candy apples. Cinnamon pancakes. Pecans.

Palate: Milky toffee. Irish cream. Cinnamon buns with icing. Raisins. Shoe polish. Cedar wood.

Finish: Medium-long. Cinnamon. Candy apple. Stewed fruits. Caramel.

Would I buy this: No

Would I order this in a bar: Yes

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

VFM: 2/5

As I mentioned earlier, this came with a heftier price tag than the last 12 year old Glenrothes from DL based on the fact that it’s a far superior cask. From tasting this I’m inclined to agree. It really was a very sublime dram with some lovely comlexity to it and a more balanced sherry profile. That said, I’m not sure what to make on the whole pricing higher because it’s a better whisky thing.

[Rant]

Traditionally older whiskies have been more expensive because storing whisky costs money, but we’ve seen some craziness thanks to the whisky bubble where we’re being asked to pay for a 12 year old whisky what 2 or 3 years ago we’d have paid for an 18 year old whisky. Aside from this we’re also seeing non-age stated expressions and young but unique or limited whiskies (*cough* Octomore *cough*) go for extremely high prices. So maybe based on quality is better, but then you have 2 problems. The first is that quality is extremely subjective, I would not be happy paying more for a quality bottle without trying it first. Secondly, it kind of takes the fun out of finding these hidden gems, cheap bottlings that slip under the radar, are dirt cheap and fantasticly good. I’m not really sure if I have a point to make here from all of this, but as a whisky consumer I would like to see some measure of sanity return to the pricing of my favourite spirit.

[End of rant]


Ben Nevis 21 Old Particular

Aged 21 years. 51.5% ABV. Matured in a refill butt. No colourant added, non-chill filtered and bottled from cask DL 11767.

Nose: Dirty. Malt. Citrus oil. Honey. Burned straw. Light syrup. Unsmoked tobacco.

Palate: Wet stone. Dust. Dunnage. Musty books. Light wood smoke. Bitter fruit
Citrus rind.

Finish: Long. Cooked pears. Cream of wheat. Vanilla. Herbal honey.

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

Ben Nevis is a really ‘dirty’, ‘heavy’ whisky, and this cask exemplifies that character. The aging has really done some nice work with this stuff, a very tasty dram that takes quite a while to open up and lots of flavour that keeps on coming for a long while after you’ve taken a sip.


 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “More Douglas Laing with Malt Mongers Israel

  1. What a wonderful selection, Shane. Happy new year to you & keep those awesome tasting notes comin’! Though it pains my mouse-y heart a little to read that you’re not a Beastie fan… Maybe falling in love with that cute little fella can be your new year’s resolution for 2018. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s