Home > Experiences, Scotch > Tasting The Art of Douglas Laing

Tasting The Art of Douglas Laing

These plastic glasses don’t look much like anything, right? Well, overall aesthetics might not be much anything, but the content is a king as we usually say. These glasses contain 10 different scotches from Douglas Laing, an independent bottler and blender of premium malt scotch whiskies.

Until yesterday, I never heard of Douglas Laing (so don’t feel bad if you didn’t know about them either). It appears that since 1948 they had being in the business of creating their own custom whisky blends, and from 1998 started releasing single malts, to the great pleasure of whisky connoisseurs all over the world.

The group of scotches I had a pleasure tasting (thanks to my friend Zak), included some of the familiar names, like Macallan… come to think of it, this was the only familiar name. It was also very interesting to see very odd ages on many of the scotches. Typically the line you would see for the mainstream brands would be 10, 12, 15, 18 and 25, with the rare addition of 14 and 16. In the list below, you will see some very odd ages like 9, 11 and 20 – but this is something you can do, having amazing supply of good stuff such as Douglas Laing does.

Here is what I tasted with the brief notes (10 scotches in 10 minutes – this is too fast to be able to really reflect on the experience):

Blair Athol 11, Speyside – too tight, not showing much of anything

Benriach 18, Speyside – very nice, acidic, with some wood tones, no sweetness at all

Fettercairn 9, Highlands – nice big bouquet

Braeval 19, Speyside – nice and round, pleasant sweet notes

Craigellacchie 14, Speyside – smooth, with beautiful smokiness and great bouquet. My absolute favorite in the tasting.

Macallan 20, Speyside – this was smooth, but a bit flat.

Macallan 33, Speyside – nice, round, open, with hint of tobacco and tar in the back, very complex. Definitely another one of my favorites, but at around $400 per bottle, I don’t expect to see it in my collection any time soon.

Douglas XO – very soft and too simple, almost too sweet.

Clan Denny Speyside – this is a blend of Macallan, Glenrothes, Glen Grant, Mortlach, Longmorn and other Speyside scotches. Has lots of balanced sweetness. Taking Macallan 33 out of the equation, these was my second favorite (or third with Macallan, of course).

Clan Denny Islay – a blend of Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila and other Islay scotches. Outstanding, very complex, with hint of smokiness. Also one of my favorites.

I also would like to mention that while I was searching for some information on the scotches, I came across site called Malt Madness, which I think is amazing – anything you need to know about Scotch, this would be a good place to start.

All three of my favorites ( Craigellachie, Clan Denny Islay and Clan Denny Speyside) are expected to appear soon on the shelves of Cost Less Wines and Liquors – if you like scotch, I’m sure you will be as happy as I am. Cheers!

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  1. November 20, 2011 at 9:35 am

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