Whisky Review – Yula 20 Year Old (Douglas Laing)

Yula 20 Year Old (Douglas Laing)

52.6% ABV

Non chill filtered

No Added Colouring

£110 from Master of Malt

Yula 20 year old is the first part of a trilogy of releases from Douglas Laing. It’s a blended malt made with peated malts from Islay and the islands which have been aged for at least 20 years. 

This bottling is limited to just 900 bottles. 


On first sniff there is some immediately pungent smoked/grilled pineapple rings. Definitely a tropical fruit start. The smokiness is quite intense and varied, there’s a softness of heather smoke, whilst an inferno is blazing in the background, a big hearty bonfire. Some cigarette paper ash. With a little time we get more charred oak. Salty sea air and some background creamy barley. Delving further we have some smooth vanilla, custard cream biscuits and a wee touch of herbal cough sweets. 


Sweet and sour on initial contact, quickly thickening in the mouth. Beautifully thick mouthfeel and very easy to sip at full strength. Waves and waves of creamy barley and light soft fruits, some mango, melon, a touch of pineapple and some mixed citrus. The creaminess continues and shines through in the development, with a touch of charred pencil. The thick mouthfeel theme continues and brings more waves of honey, and gooey caramel. All throughout we have a layer of smoke lingering in the mouth. It’s quite a beastly palate, which takes some deconstructing and has lovely complexity. 


The very long finish is wafts and wafts of smoke with grilled fruit based kebabs. And that creamy barley richness continues on and on. Vanilla comes back and lingers on the tongue for an age, a lovely glutinous custard. It is like having had a mouthful of a pineapple sponge with reduced Devon custard soaked through it. Yummy. 

Adding water. 

Adding a few drops, though I’m really liking the undiluted experience. The nose has lost a fair portion of smoke and has more Creme brûlée richness and light tropical fruits. There is still a hint of smoke, but not bellowing. The palate is much much sweeter on the arrival, lots of sugar, caramel and sponge cake, development moves towards a little fruit, and a lot of creamy barley. The mouthfeel still very fulfilling, but obviously slightly less coating as the undiluted. The finish is all about the creamy caramels and custard, slightly shorter now. Personally the experience is much better on this whisky without any water added. 


A lovely blended malt, very flavoursome, and initially very smokey experience. It’s all about the mouthfeel for this dram, as the experience of the undiluted palate is quite stunning, and there is some deliciously creamy flavours coming out of this well constructed glass of whisky. I’m going to be very interested to see how part two of the trilogy pans out. 

Many thanks to Douglas Laing Co. for the review sample