Douglas Laing

Rock Oyster ~ 46.8% (Douglas Laing)

Review: Rock Oyster Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

Category: Blended Island Malt Scotch Whisky

Origin: Various distilleries

Bottling: Douglas Laing

ABV: 46.8%

Cost: £37.84 from Master of Malt

rock-oyster-whisky

What they say:

Paying homage the sea, Douglas Laing’s Rock Oyster is a Small Batch bottling created using the finest maritime Malts including those distilled on the esteemed Islands of Jura, Islay, Arran and Orkney. Bottled at 46.8% alcohol strength and traditionally without colouring or chill-filtration, this Small Batch bottling has a truly maritime and oceanic character of sea-salt, sweet peat, smoke, honey and pepper from its Islay Malts, and softened somewhat by the sweeter, barley-based impact from Arran, Jura and Orkney.

Tasting notes:

Wave soaked rocks and a salty oceanic fresh influence on the nose, running to an initially subtle palate that carries soft and rather sweet peat paralleled with smoke, honey, damp ash, liquorice and late pepper. All of what went before is neatly replicated in the moreish finish.

What I say:

Bottled by Douglas Laing as part of their Remarkable Malts range of blended malt whiskies that epitomise the region in which they were produced. We have previously sampled both Scallywag (Speyside) and Big Peat (Islay) blended malts, however I was very keen to try this Rock Oyster (Island) expression as in theory this hit a lot of my likes! When I bumped into Jan at the Doulas Laing stand at the Edinburgh Whisky Stramash 2015 we had a brief chat about what was on offer and Jan explained how he thought the Remarkable Malts range fit the brief perfectly for a whisky festival aimed at more novice or introductory whisky drinkers rather than the more bewildering (and rarer/more exclusive) array of single cask expressions bottled by Douglas Laing. He certainly had a very busy stand to man – so they were definitely doing something right!

Colour:

Light champagne gold (4/20) slow small droplet tears leave fine trails

Nose:

Malty and peat smoke hit you first before a wave of briny sea spray, seashells and powdered shell (white sand) beaches in the sun (often I describe this taste note as ozone), shellfish, clams, oysters, mussels that peculiar mix of sweet and salt from their fresh meat, earthy and with a hint of engine oil, slightly bbq/flame-grilled shellfish

Taste:

Light initially with biscuity cereal barley, meaty, ginger and honey, saltwater taffy, ocean fresh shellfish, scallops, oysters, smoked mussels, peat smoke wisps and clam chowder more sweet and salt.

Finish:

Long, smoky and briny, honeyed malt

Overall:

Yes yes yes! Does exactly what it says on the tin! Just a wonderful expression full of coastal influence and marrying together that slightly odd combination of sweet and salt – a little like good Thai, Vietnamese or similar (I’m sure there are other examples!) cookery.

Score: 85/100

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