Rock Oyster 18 Years Old (Douglas Laing)
Rock Oyster 18 Years Old is a blended malt from Douglas Laing, constructed with whiskies exclusively distilled on one of the Scottish Islands. For this whisky from Orkney, Arran, Islay and Jura was used.
Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts have been around for a while now, and I feel like they’re really onto something. The entry-level expressions all present good value for money, and with the more recent addition of age statement blended malts, Douglas Laing has created quite the impressive range of blended malt whiskies.
Two of the whiskies used for this malt are easy to guess, with Arran and Jura both having only one distillery. Highland Park most likely represents Orkney. But which Islay distillery or distilleries contributed to this blend? The Islay influence seems to be quite clear when tasting this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it contains a lot of peated Islay whisky. Meh, why do I even care. The end result is what matters.
Rock Oyster 18 Years Old (46,8%, Douglas Laing, 2017)
Nose: Plenty of citrus, lime and lemon yoghurt. A whiff of copper coins, but also spiced biscuits, very subtle peat smoke, tobacco and milk chocolate. Even somewhat floral at times. Balanced and complex. Gorgeous.
Taste: An earthy peatiness and subtle wood smoke, accompanied by the citrus already displayed on the nose, and seaweed too. A pinch of pepper, also some cloves and brine.
Finish: Brine, pepper and smoke. Quite long too.
Impressive blending, with plenty of Islay influence shining through, especially on the palate. Although this is not an in-your-face whisky whatsoever, the nose is a tad more civilized and complex, displaying a bit more range. I love it.
Sample provided by Douglas Laing
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.