Whisky Review: Rock Oyster 18 Years Old
- Category: Island blended malt scotch whisky
- Origin: Various incl; Arran, Jura and Orkney distilleries.
- Bottling: Douglas Laing, Remarkable Regional Malts
- ABV: 46.8%
- Cost: £89.12
What they say
Rock Oyster 18 Years Old is a maritime marriage of Malts distilled on Arran, Islay, Jura and Orkney. Rich with flavours of the sea, Rock Oyster’s new limited edition delivers a blast of sea air, tobacco and sweet peat, brought to life on the packaging by a detailed illustration of a sailboat battling stormy seas off Scotland’s West Coast. In line with the Douglas Laing family philosophy, it is offered without colouring or chill-filtration, at alcohol strength of 46.8%.
Official tasting notes
- Nose: Immediately maritime on the nose – developing to salt, light tobacco and a sweetly peated Malt character
- Palate: Opening sweetly on the palate with more tobacco and now hard-candy and barley sugar flavours apparent.
- Finish: The finish is wonderfully spiced with more sweet cereal and now a phenolic quality ebbing and flowing (CSL)
What I say
Sampled during #RockOyster twitter tasting on National Oyster Day with Great Drams and Douglas Laing’s Remarkable Malts. This is the standard Rock Oyster Blended Malt Whisky constructed from components matured to a minimum of 18 Years of age.
My tasting notes:
- Appearance: Light Amber gold (7/20), medium-sized, slightly-oily tears taper to fine legs.
- Nose: That classic Rock Oyster sweet and peat mixture, drier with hessian, rope, almost chamois leather added in some tropical fruits lurking in here too, pineapple and dried mango reveal the extra maturation plus some spiced oak wood.
- Taste: Full-bodied and more malty than standard blend, a little oily that moves over to slightly dirty as peat influence encroaches the palate, a little spice develops, dry leather, tobacco, a rich caramel and toffee behind the peat and salted mixed nuts; cashew, macadamia, slightly creamy with vanilla.
- Finish: Long, zesty, peaty, mineralic, lemon & lime juice, citric marzipan
At the time of tasting I found it hard to separate this in preference from the power of the standard blend. With time, both maturation and time in the glass and on the palate, this 18 year old edition reveals more subtleties and complexity and so now just pips the standard by a point in my book. For the price differential however it is hard to pass by the standard Rock Oyster blend.
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