Whisky Review: The Epicurean
Category: Lowland blended malt scotch whisky
Origin: Lowland distilleries
Bottling: Douglas Laing; Remarkable Regional Malts
What they say:
A dram described as “city born and bred”, Douglas Laing’s The Epicurean is a marriage of some of the finest Lowland Malts; bringing together the best that the East and the West of Scotland have to offer. Bursting with barley, citrus, floral and herbal notes, this Malt Whisky is packaged in a premium gift tube featuring The Epicurean himself. No attention to detail is spared, from the cocktail shaker, crystal decanter and barley husk illustrations, to the charmingly rhythmic pack copy that well and truly brings the spirit and its characterful namesake to life.
Fred Laing, Managing Director and 2nd Generation in the family business, says:
“Back in 1930s Glasgow, The Epicurean, as everyone knew him, was the life and soul of any party. Wherever he popped in for a dram, you’d find him surrounded by a circle of admirers, regaling them with captivating tales of derring-do, of chance encounters in foreign climes and of the fine food and drink he feasted upon his travels. Our new expression is in honour of that roguish character who never fails to deliver charm, charisma and just a little bit of cheek. Any likeness to Douglas Laing’s Managing Director is purely coincidental!
The Epicurean, our Lowland “Vatted” Malt joins Timorous Beastie from the Highlands, Scallywag from Speyside, Rock Oyster from the Islands and Big Peat from Islay to complete our Remarkable Regional Malts collection.”
In line with the family philosophy, Douglas Laing’s The Epicurean is proudly without colouring or chill-filtration, and bottled at high alcohol strength, 46.2%. Available from specialist Whisky stores and DouglasLaing.com from April 2016.
In a tipple of our Small Batch Epicurean, you can bet on a nose that is barley rich, citric, floral and herbal. The mouth-coatingly sweet palate displays crunched sugar, burnt citrus, mixed spices, thyme, peaches and hard candy… All charmingly underpinned and enriched in the finish with more of that earlier herbal character, in a gristy style with almonds, cut grass and burnt sugar.
What I say:
Thanks to Tom at Toms Whisky Reviews and also my local Douglas Laing Fellow for sharing a healthy sized sample with me to try this out. We first heard about this whisky during one of our seasonal trips to Douglas Laing HQ were Fred and Jan told us of their addition to the Remarkable Regional Malts range and its provenance. Suffice to say Fred gave us a very good indication of which distilleries may have been used in its construction 😉
Very pale/hint of gold (1/20), small tears leave fine legs
Citrusy and dry, redolent of dried fruit rinds like lemon and tangerine, peach, biscuit malt, light/runny honey sweet with a slightly deeper/richer sweetness indicative of toffee or almost coffee like
Medium-bodied, flavourful and rich, honey drizzled on green bananas, balanced between sharp and citric lemon juice and sour apple with white grape, a touch of copper/brass penny metallic and spirit new make or grain-like whisky, grassy and organic with drying white pepper
Long, zesty, sweet, drying, melon fruit and oak wood
What a surprise, much more potent and expansive on the palate than the colour suggests and also quite rich in depth and range of flavours drawing from the whole of the classic ‘lowland’ palate. This is an interesting blended malt with a slightly ascerbic, dry, sour & bitter characters balanced beautifully against thick sweet fruits.
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