Origin: Islay (Scotland)
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: N/A
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Douglas Laing
Average price: € 77.00
Official website: www.douglaslaing.com
Fred Laing is the current president of Douglas Laing & Co., Scottish bottlers in business since 1948 and strictly family-run (including in-laws).
There are many different lines of production of this particularly lively and active company, and it would take too long to describe them here: I will limit myself to speaking briefly of the one from which this bottle is part of, the Remarkable Regional Malts.
A blended blend for each Scotch whisky production region, each with a strong distinctiveness and personalisation:
- Lowlands represented by The Epicurean (with currently 2 types);
- Highlands represented by Timorous Beastie (with currently 4 types);
- Speyside represented by Scallywag (with currently 4 types);
- Campbeltown represented by The Gauldrons (with currently 1 type in different batches);
- The Islands represented by Rock Island (with currently 3 types);
- Islay represented by Big Peat (with currently 4 types plus various limited Christmas and foreign editions).
As can be guessed, the lion’s share of this line is taken up by Big Peat, thanks to a success that was not exactly easily achieved and also to the exclusive content of this blend: whiskies from Port Ellen, a legendary distillery closed in 1983, of which Laing owns an unspecified number of casks, obviously with significant ageing.
Big Peat was born as a NAS, while this 10 year old (an age that we remember indicates the minimum ageing of the spirits in the bottle) was launched in 2019 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the birth of this scurvy “fisherman’s whisky”, in an edition limited to 5,100 bottles.
Pale yellow in the glass, almost transparent.
The aroma is of dense peat, suspended between herbaceous and smoky with a hint of meatiness. Cloves, cinnamon, liquorice, with a distinct background of marine saltiness and leather. Very balanced and harmonious. There is a hint of smoked herring, which seems appropriate.
The peaty and oily profile also dominates the palate, but always in a non-aggressive way, closely embraced by the salty and herbaceous scents, which even express a certain freshness. Liquorice and cinnamon again, to which are added a hint of orange and vanilla along with a sprinkling of pepper. On the length, the peat becomes more ashy and the salinity becomes more distinct, with an overall sensation of smoked fish roll. Background of wood.
Medium-long and somewhat dry finish of smoked wood, salt and liquorice.
I admit that I was really expecting the ‘peat bomb’ that the label promises, but instead I found myself with an elegant and balanced peat whisky, with a hint of roughness, rich in scents and very island-like, with the wood perhaps a little invasive.
Reviews of Douglas Laing whisky in the blog:
Big Peat 33yo Cognac & Sherry Finish
Big Peat Christmas Edition 2020
Big Peat Small Batch
Old Malt Cask Ardbeg 1991 (13yo)
Old Particular The Christmas Edition 2005
Timorous Beastie 12yo
Timorous Beastie 18yo The Winter Edition