The Epicurean Glasgow Edition used to be a cask strength version of the regular The Epicurean from Douglas Laing. However, the Glasgow Edition #2 comes with a twist – it is finished in French ex-cuvée casks.
I’m not entirely sure what to think about the ex-cuvée oak finish for this second edition. Not in terms of quality, but just because it’s such a vague term. Why not say ex-wine? Because I would assume that’s what they mean. And some more specifics on the ex-cuvée wine casks wouldn’t hurt either.
For wine, the term cuvée often means “blend” of either vineyards, vintages or varieties. And it’s not the first time we’ve seen the word cuvée used in the whisky world. Most notably, Waterford Distillery launched its Cuvée two years ago.
Waterford made it clear it didn’t necessarily refer to the use of wine casks, but to their blending of different single farm whiskies. And since founder Mark Reynier has a well-documented background in wine, I feel they’re excused for using such a wine-specific term. Why Douglas Laing felt the need to? I couldn’t say.
But back to the actual liquid. I enjoyed my bottle of the first Epicurean Glasgow Edition, which I believe was just a straightforward ex-bourbon maturation. It quickly disappeared in highballs with ginger beer. They were delicious. And I still have a bottle left with my face on it (no joke!).
The Epicurean Glasgow Edition #2 Cuvée Finish is limited to 5,100 bottles globally and, like its predecessor, bottled at cask strength. According to brand manager Scott Morrison, the French ex-cuvée oak imparted an “eclectic array of flavours.” Let’s find out for ourselves…
The Epicurean Glasgow Edition #2 Cuvée Finish (50.4%, Douglas Laing, 5100 bts.)
Nose: There’s an initial hint of rhubarb alongside barley husks, burlap, and orange peels. Also leafy whispers of lawn clippings, accompanied by heather flowers. Touches of vanilla custard too. Taste: The wine becomes more noticeable now. Hints of almonds, marzipan and milk chocolate too, but there’s room for poached apples and pears, as well as some oak spices and gentle tannins. Finish: Medium length. Lingering spices, some mint and orchard fruits.
A whisky that manages to combine traditional Lowland characteristics with influences from the ex-Cuvée casks, without the latter completely overshadowing the former. However, I rarely find that ex-wine casks fully integrate with single malt, and that's the case here too.