Whisky Review – The Epicurean (Douglas Laing) @dlaingwhisky

 The Epicurean (Douglas Laing)

46.% ABV

Non Chill Filtered

No added colouring (clearly – the colour is extremely light)

£34.30 from Master of Malt

This is the latest exciting Malted blend release from the Douglas Laing camp. Following in the footsteps of Big Peat (Islay), Scallywag (Speyside) and Timorous Beastie (Highlands) & Rock Oyster, comes The Epicurean a malt blend of whiskies from the Lowlands of Scotland.  


First sniff from the pour is quite spirit driven. Some tarty citrus fruits, mainly lime and grapefruit peel. There are some pleasant gristy cereal notes and a light dusting of vanilla and cinnamon. Young and robust from the initial nosing, will let it sit a while. Returning to the glass, crisp juicy apples and quite a clean malt now, with hints of dew coated grass blades. Cinnamon a plenty and a bakery note, with a spot of sweet ginger. 


Quite a dry, thick arrival, with an oily mouthfeel. Spices hit in the development, some hot ginger and a touch of chilli. Then a sweetness comes through, barley sugar intense, accompanying the mouthfeel nicely, very syrupy, warming, and satisfying in a desert way. Light mixed fruits, peaches, apricot, a touch of poached pear. Nice. 


Short to medium in duration, the syrup sweetness slowly fades and the ginger returns, with a dry, but very pleasant edge. 

Adding water.

A splash added. The nose has become more herbal, notes of dry liquorice root and crystallised ginger are prominent. The palate, now lighter on the mouthfeel has a slightly bitter arrival, with a more vegetal, herbaceous experience. The sweetness comes back in the development, but without the thick mouthfeel it feels more sugary, and less luxurious. The finish is shorter and sweeter, with a drier ending. I prefer this dram without water. 


Another great malt blend from Douglas Laing. Personally not my favourite of the collection, but undiluted it does have a nice tasty, moreish palate, with I really like. It also works great in a cocktail with ginger ale and a couple dashes of bitters. 

Thanks to Douglas Laing Co. for the review sample. 

New Cù Bòcan 1988 release imminent. @Tomatin1897


I had a great time with the Cù Bòcan 1989 over 2 years ago now (wow how time flies). Read that review here.  Well. There’s a new one coming. It’s older and it’s still a great price considering its 28 years in sherry wood! Well worth a gander. Hope I get to try it myself! 

PR release follows:

Highland based Tomatin Distillery have announced the launch of a rare Vintage 1988 single malt as part of their Cù Bòcan range. The casks used to mature the spirit were home to a popular heavily peated Islay whisky in their past lives to create a unique limited edition. Just 2200 bottles of the malt, which have been aged for 28 years in sherry casks, are available.

Bottled at a cask strength of 51.5% abv, the whisky is described as having an aroma of campfire smoke and stewed pears with flavours of candied tropical fruits and an earthy peaty tang.

The Cù Bòcan brand is named after a mythical Highland hellhound which was rumoured to haunt the village of Tomatin and was launched in 2013 as a lightly peated alternative to the traditional fruity flavours of Tomatin single malt. This latest release follows previous limited editions including the 1989 vintage in 2014, along with the Virgin Oak, Sherry and Bourbon expressions in 2015.

Stephen Bremner, Sales Director commented:

In such a crowded market, innovation is key. We have invested a lot of time in carefully crafting a range of different expressions to appeal to new markets and push boundaries so we are delighted with our latest offering which experiments with heavily peated Islay casks to infuse our naturally light spirit with an earthy, distinctive flavour.

The Cù Bòcan standard edition has also recently been recognised at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits competition scooping a silver medal in its category. 

The vintage creation is currently being rolled out worldwide and retails at £199. A list of stockists can be found here www.tomatin.com.