Thursday, 27 February 2014

Douglas Laing Big Peat

Douglas Laing Big Peat
Picture: The Whisky Exchange

In stores, you always spot some blends that are literally screaming for your attention. The friendly beardy Big Peat is one of these with its informal and cartoonish label. He calls himself proudly an Islay blended malt shaped by whiskies from the Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and the former Port Ellen distillery.

The last statement should, however, be interpreted as a – in marketing slang – Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Douglas Laing combines young fiery Islay malts with the Hyacinth Bucket of whiskies.

Identity Card Douglas Laing Big Peat

  • Official bottling from Douglas Laing Remarkable Regional Malts
  • NAS - No Age Statement blended malt Scotch whisky
  • Alcohol: 46% ABV

Friendly cigar smoking and coffee slurping beardy fisherman.

Tasting notes


Colour: Big Peat could be called a “white boy”. The young components give it a pale yellow appearance.

Nose: A puff of smoke and vanilla rise from the glass. Once you wriggle yourself through these initial flavours, a sandalwood cigar box filled with ground coffee beans is opened. Some eucalyptus and light sulphur make it slightly more interesting. This flavour profile reminds me of young Ardbeg.

Taste: The taste is medicinal and smoky. Sweet tobacco and ashes of aromatic sandalwood. Sometimes there's a hint of rubber and Play-Doh.

Finish: The finish is extremely long and dry. The smell of fresh bread dough lingers in the glass.

Conclusion: This is a blend that calls a halt to single malt snobbery. Bold youthfulness, surprisingly complex and affordable. It competes in the price range of 16-year-old Jura's or Aberlours.

Big Peat has an extensive family: a 5cl infant, a 20cl toddler, a 70cl adolescent and a really big 4.5l man. Rationality abides me to confess that there's probably a very small amount of Port Ellen in this blend. But nonetheless a very fine one. A little rough around the edges, as a good fisherman should be.
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