Rock Oyster is—like many of you will know—a blended malt from Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Regional Malts series. It sits alongside other whiskies blended to match a specific flavour profile, associated with specific regions.
In the case of Rock Oyster, that region is are the Islands. Though not recognized by the Scotch Whisky Association, many of the island distilleries (on Orkney, Skye, Mull, et al.) do have their very specific own style. These styles are blended together to create Rock Oyster, in this case the second (and final) Cask Strength batch.
Previously, I seriously enjoyed the 18-year-old version. If this cask strength version is anywhere close to that in quality, I’m in for a treat.
Rock Oyster Cask Strength Batch #2 (56.1%, Douglas Laing, 2018)
Nose: Young and sweet, spirit-y almost, with plenty of vanilla thrown in, as well as lemon custard and pickled lemon. There’s a good brine-y, coastal influence here, with a dose of seaweed and sea spray. Very soft wood smoke. Surprisingly gentle for its abv, by the way. Taste: Somewhat dry, and really spicy—think ginger and chili pepper. It also has an inherent sweetness, again mainly vanilla, but also some tinned pineapple. The peat smoke is pretty mellow, and accompanied by straw and hay. Finish: Sweet with soft spices. Long.
If you’re looking for an affordable, coastal, cask strength dram, look no further. The Rock Oyster Cask Strength Batch #2 has everything you’d want from such a whisky.