It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Douglas Laing. I find their products to be of good quality, at the least. They’re also worth the price point. With that said, I can confidently say that Douglas Laing is the independent bottler that I’ve covered the most so far. So, I’m taking it easy this time and will just casually review a couple more of their products.
To break down my history of reviewing their products: I’ve covered the regular range of their outstanding blended malts, the Remarkable Regional Malts. This includes some of the range’s higher end expressions and small batch releases.
For their single malts, I’ve reviewed a couple of their lower end single cask expressions called Provenance (Mortlach and Dailuaine). And finally, a bunch of their medium range single cask expressions under the Old Particular brand (Glen Elgin, Linkwood, Cameronbridge and Ben Nevis). This also includes some special bottlings meant for Asia under the “Asia Friendship Range.”
So here I am, adding to my list of reviewed Douglas Laing products, as well as adding a couple more blended malt reviews… because single malt is overrated and blended malts are severely underrated. This time, it’s the Scallywag Chocolate Edition and the discontinued Rock Oyster 18 year old.
The Scallywag Chocolate Edition 2022 Batch 5 is a blend of 100% sherry cask matured Speyside single malts. I’m grateful for being allowed to take home a sample of this whisky during a recent drinking session.
Scallywag The Chocolate Edition 2022 – Review
Batch 5. 48% ABV. €53.25 from Master of Malt. 3,600 bottles released.
Color: Clear butterbeer.
On the nose: I get a gentle and lasting wave of chocolate coated-orange peel, mocha, dried apricots, figs, dates, honey, candy, biscuits, caramel, chocolate milk, and red berry-flavored jam sandwich biscuits.
In the mouth: I get bolder but shorter bursts of red berry-flavored jam biscuits, honey, caramel, chocolate milk, figs, dates, chocolate coated-orange peel, dried apricots, caramelized orange peel, espresso with orange peel, and red grapes with skin.
A very good whisky for the price. The heat doesn’t feel like it’s 48%. There’s a good variety of texture with the oiliness and alcohol sharpness. I think this is underpriced for the quality… but I expected more chocolate. I won’t miss the chance to say that Macallan, and other brands, should take notes from this series should they do more chocolate-themed releases in the future.
I’ll look forward to trying more batches from this series.
In case you’re confused, the range that’s currently called Rock Island used to be called Rock Oyster. According to Paul, the blended malt got associated so much with oyster pairings they did that they decided to rename it. Don’t worry, though, the blend didn’t change. It’s still composed of single malts from island distilleries such as Jura, Arran, Islay, and Orkney.
Rock Oyster 18 Year Old – Review
46.8% ABV. €86.35 from Master of Malt.
On the nose: I get light to medium and lasting aromas of salted caramel, sea air, sea water, smoke, tobacco, burnt rubber, Twix – but heavier on dark chocolate -and caramelized orange peel. At the end is a very light and brief floral peat.
In the mouth: Very long and interesting. I initially get a spray of spicy and citrus notes accompanied by a gentle smoke. It’s like biting into a smoked biscuit with bits of dried citrus peel and peppercorns. The toned-down floral peat comes out. Again, it reminds me of Highland Park. But it is accompanied by oranges, caramel and tobacco. Deeper in, I get Twix, but heavier on biscuits. More burnt rubber and barley tea.
This is a lovely and complex whisky. I wish more 18 year old peated Scotch would taste like this. I can taste some of the different components individually, such as the burnt rubber note from Jura and the floral peat from Highland Park. But added together, it’s a glorious harmony.
I think I’m going to have a hard time sharing this. What a solid whisky… like a rock (ha ha ha).
Lead image courtesy of The Whisky Exchange.