Firstly, please appreciate how GORGEOUS these bottles are. I’m a sucker for cool drink labels, and Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts* has some of the coolest branding I have ever seen.
As someone with a keen interest in trying out new brands of alcohol, I was super excited when I received a package of four whiskies from Scotland’s Douglas Laing & Co. In my package I received four mini bottles of Malt Whiskeys to try along with some tasting notes.
Timorous Beastie – Highland Malt Scotch Whiskey
This is a sweet whiskey bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength, so it’s not for the faint-hearted. The name Timorous Beastie comes from the Robert Burns poem “To a Mouse”. In honour of its namesake, Timorous Beastie is ‘sweet and mellow, yet just a little bit feisty’.
If you’re new to whiskey, this is a good one to start you off.
Nose: Sweet with floral, barley & spicy honey tones.
Palate: Spicy, fructiferous, mellow and sugary.
Finish: Subtle yet sweet with notes of oak, milky cereals and late meringue.
Use it to make this cocktail: Old Fashioned
Rock Oyster – Island Malt Scotch Whiskey
‘Prise open a rock oyster and you’d be lucky indeed to find a pearl’.
A whiskey inspired by the flavours of the sea! This is also 46.8% strong so again, it’s good stuff! The branding of this Scotch Whiskey has a truly maritime and oceanic character, and I think I’d buy it for the bottle alone! This is a salty whiskey with a long finish.
Nose: Wave soaked rocks and fresh, salty oceans.
Palate: Sweet peat paralleled with smoke, honey, damp ash, and late pepper.
Finish: A long finish that replicates all that has gone before (this makes me think of waves again).
Use it to make this cocktail: Margarita
Scallywag – Speyside Malt Scotch Whiskey
This bottle was inspired by a long line of Douglas Laing family Fox Terriers (aww) and they thought the Scallywag name was perfect for this richly spiced and sweet whiskey. This one ever so slightly less strong than the others (only by 0.8%, mind) and is darker in colour than the former two reviewed. Personally this is a bit too dark for my tastes, but for lovers of whiskey this is a classic.
Nose: Richly spiced with sweet vanilla.
Palate: Sweet stewed fruit and dark chocolate with spices.
Finish: Zesty orange, sweet tobacco, cocoa and fruit cake.
Use it to make this cocktail: Manhattan
Big Peat – Islay Malt Scotch Whiskey
This one is my FAVOURITE. It is a really smokey whiskey, with a warming finish. I gave this one to my partner’s dad to try and he loved it. If you want to try something a little different, try this. I tried this with some orange juice (it’s all I had in my fridge) and it was divine. I want more. This is also 46%.
Nose: Open cleans, fresh and salty with a damp, earthy character.
Palate: Ashes, warm tar, sweet seaweed and smoking chimneys.
Finish: Really long smoke, damp bonfire ashes, creosoted beach huts, chimney soot & punchy peat.
Use it to make this cocktail: Smoky Sour.
If you’d like to find out more about Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts, visit the Douglas Laing website here.