Every now and again I invite a few friends round for a few drams, I like to call it a tasting night, I am sure they call it Something else.. Anyway this Saturday evening ( 16-1-2016 ) was one of these evenings, I purchased 4 bottles that I thought would interest them, well ok I wanted them for myself but they could have the chance to try them. Anyway I bought 4 single cask offerings from Douglas Laing, the friends got their invite, as usual no one dropped out,( less whisky for me.. ) as my guests arrived they usually bring a few samples to say thanks for the whisky they are about to get, this time they all arrived with empty sample bottles too ( cheeky buggers ) anyway we all had a laugh and chatted about all things whisky, then came the time I had to start pouring, I had decided to put the Benrinnes 10 yo first, matured in a sherry cask , this was distilled in 2003 and bottled at 46%. The Auchentoshan was second, this was a 14yo, matured in a refill hogs head, one of 324 bottles, bottled at 48.4% and distilled in 2000. Third was the Glen moray, this was again from a refill hogshead, distilled in 1999 and is one of 332 bottles, the abv is 48.4%. Lastly was the Glenrothes 10yo, bottled at 46%, this is from a sherry cask and was distilled in 2004.. my intention is to do a detailed review at a later date but here is the general thoughts of the group..
We were all suprised with this one, it had plenty of kick, lots of spicy notes, cinnamon, ginger, candied oranges, very fresh with citrus and honey notes, some dried fruit and a nutty note, a little dark chocolate and even pineapple was detected..
Overall thoughts were a great starter, lovely easy drinking and refreshing.
Very fresh, typically toshan with the floral notes and a subtle nutty scent, vanilla and toffee, a little citrus with some faint oaky notes. Fresh fruits in the way of green apples and pear were detected, honey and cinnamon and a little touch of coconut.
Overall thoughts of the Auchentoshan were it was very fresh and extremely easy to drink, a very typical Auchentoshan.. Delicious.
Glen moray 15.
This was the one we did not know what to expect, we were all extremely impressed with this.. A lot more complex than we had anticipated, the list of tasting and nosing notes went on for quite a while.. Lots of sweetness and spices, fruity and dark was the overall impression. Every one came back for more of this..
As I poured this one the only comments were.. ” look at that colour” .. The air was instantly filled with the scent of a luxuary sherried whisky.. We knew this was going to be a treat.. Every typical sherried notes was there with power, we all agreed this cask must have been a real gem. Dried fruits, citrus notes galore, liquorice and stem ginger, pipe tobacco, dark coffee and thick gooey toffee..
We really spent some time with this one, the nose was incredible for a younger whisky, yes I know 10 years is not overly young but the nose and palate was so mature..
Well as my guests were thinking that was it I pulled out the final bottle, as I never tell them if there is an “extra” bottle they never know what to expect. Tonights suprise for them was a 32yo Strathmill again following the theme of the evening the bottle was from Douglas Laing , and is part of the XOP range, this bottle is getting harder to find, so when I was still able to get one direct from them I could not resist.. So the details for this are..
Strathmill 32yo was matured in a refill butt, distilled in 1983 and has been bottled at 51%, this is one of only 258 bottles..
Again the colour is something to behold, such a dark ruby red colour that demands to be looked at.. Once poured it was drooling time, such aromas I’m sure the gods of Olympus could have smelt them. Seriously rich and dark fruits, citrus and spices galore, a delicate sweetness, dark chocolate with coffee notes and a distinctly mature feel gave this beast the top honours, but I did not expect anything else really..
The evening was of course a great success, I always get really nervous doing these nights, but when you have malts like this there is no need to be.. This range from Douglas Laing is of course natural colour, non chill filters and single barrels, I could not ask for more.. all that’s left to say is Slainte..