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Blended Scotch and Malt Douglas Laing & Co. Independent Bottlers Island of Islay Scotland Whisky from 50 to 100 euros

Big Peat Small Batch

Review of Islay's blended in its basic version.

Origin: Isle of Islay (Scotland)
Type: Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
Gradation: 46%ABV
Ageing casks: N/A
Chillfiltered: No
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Douglas Laing
Average price: € 59.00
Official website: www.douglaslaing.com
Vote: 84/100

I fill a gap in the blog on Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts by covering the basic version of the most famous blend in the series, either because of the cartoonish big man on the label or because peat always gets the mos attention.
Small batch production (about 5,000 bottles per batch), which like the other bottles under the same label contains whiskies from Islay, including a (probably small) percentage from Port Ellen.

The other distilleries contributing with their distillate to this blend are Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Bowmore, with unspecified ages and percentages, creating what, on paper, could be the starting point for any peat enthusiast.

Tasting notes

Straw yellow, almost transparent, in the glass.
Savoury and marine peat, with a lovely bouquet of smoked herring welcoming the nose, bathed in a generous splash of lemon. Fruity aspects of pear and unripe banana emerge between one fish and another, along with a touch of liquorice and anise. Caresses of tar in the background.
Nice and consistent in the mouth, with a notable savouriness with marine influences (oysters) that combines with a caramel and toasted aspect, licorice toffee, more pear and lemon and a generous handful of pepper. And the peat? It’s there but less explosive, veering towards a more ashy aspect, shifting over time the tones to sweeter and less scratchy tones, with the emergence of malt biscuits and vanilla.
Long finish of ash and salt, liquorice, citrus touches.

A dram that is never predictable or banal, which behind a high-sounding name and an amusingly surly label hides a friendly, easy-going whisky that nevertheless manages to express personality and character.

Reviews of Douglas Laing whisky in the blog:
Big Peat 10yo
Big Peat 33yo Cognac & Sherry Finish
Big Peat Christmas Edition 2020
Old Malt Cask Ardbeg 1991 (13yo)
Old Particular The Christmas Edition 2005
Rock Island
Scallywag
Timorous Beastie 12yo
Timorous Beastie 18yo The Winter Edition

Other perspectives:
The Whisky Wash

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