Before you know it, you’ve been sucked in and the sale is made. A swift passing of a sample, an eagerly anticipated snippet and gone in an instant. That fleeting memory. The lasting finish and then the sudden realisation you have to own a bottle…
That’s the advantage of trying before you buy. It’s a dangerous minefield full of beautiful things and hazards, with the bottom line being there is never enough cash to satisfy your cravings as a whisky enthusiast. In this case I was kindly given a sample of what was heralded as a lovely young grain whisky bottled by Douglas Laing as part of their Old Particular range.
You’ll recall how recently I actually enjoyed the 11 year old Port Dundas in this range of younger grains that offered a decent balance of price and experience. Not so much the 19 year old Loch Lomond but overall the quality has been excellent and showcases what grain whisky can offer when its not being touted by a bearded ex-footballer with a love for blue glass.
Strathclyde is an ugly distillery, but then all grain facilities are. They are built for efficiency as its all about mass production not visitors and aesthetics. What truly matters is the end product and although I’ve not had too many Strathclyde’s over the years I do fondly recall the 27 year old bottled by the Whisky Broker; one of my whiskies from 2015.
I’m intrigued by this grain as it is bottled at a relatively young 10 years old and more enticingly comes from a sherry butt (DL11062) that produced 727 bottles. A great sherry cask can do wonderful things so the team at Douglas Laing must have felt it was already time to unleash the contents of this cask.
As always in this range this is the natural colour and the whisky has not received any chill filtration. Distilled in November 2005 and bottled in February 2016 a bottle of this will set you back in the region of £45.
Colour: I’m going to say ginger loaf, it reminds of that joyous thing.
Nose: a lovely provocative sweet arrival with raspberries and marzipan. Crushed almonds no its more frangipane with a little strawberry jam. Jelly wine gums, coconut flakes, dark chocolate and coffee beans.
Taste: punchy at first with red berries so that’s strawberries, cranberries and raspberries dancing across the palate. A certain drying quality from the wood is evident. More roasted coffee, a touch of rubber and a little vanilla essence in the finish rounds of a fun experience.
Overall: its a winner overall and another approachable grain whisky in this range from Douglas Laing. When noting the price as well, I find this difficult to pass up and suggest you acquire a bottle whilst its out there if you do like your grain or sherry cask whiskies.