Bottler: Douglas Laing
Limitation: 1080 bottles
unchillfiltered and uncoloured
It’s not every day I get to taste 40 yo whisky (or any whisky older than me, for that matter), so I guess today is a special day, despite it being an ordinary workday 😉
The nose smells of.. aaahhhhh! old whisky! Or should I say well-matured whisky? There’s a perfumey fragrant oak character up front which only appears in old whisky – but not too oaky, just the right amount of oak! Rich and complex, with old banana, molasses, sweet fruit syrup, gingerbread with quite a lot of aniseed and frosting, assorted wine gums. Like entering an old-fashioned candy store with oak shelving, it features a very layered, complex set of sweet aromas which are impossible to dissect. Oh, this is right up my alley! Let’s see if the palate: can compete with the nose:Aaaahhhh… (again). Old oak influence up front with teeth-coating beeswax and propolis as well as leather boots after walking through a field of flowers. But there’s still a peppery kick with ginger on the arrival – this baby has power! Rich, mouth-coating, oily, and a rather complex yet still medium-bodied. Honey, wine gums, dried cherries, rich gingerbread with aniseed, chocolate and frosting, vanilla pipe tobacco (unlit) and… Kletzenbrot! We are back to the old-style candy shop. Oh, that’s lovely. Oozing of old age yet still sweet, potent and kicking! The long finish is intense upon swallowing, with fragrant oak, gingerbread, wine gums, chocolate and.. err – ah, just re-read the notes for the palate! Mellows down very well and wants you to have more – alas, my glass is empty and I only had a sample.
Douglas Laing did it! A 40 yo whisky that strikes an amazing balance between oak influence and spirit. It’s still alive and kicking, but with the proper character of an aged whisky. One of the best I’ve had this year and there is really only one thing to add: At a price point of about 250€ it is not too steep! You can buy much less expressive and much younger whisky for far more money!
(Nose: 92 Palate: 93 Finish: 93)