Douglas Laing Provenance single casks

The Provenance series by Douglas Laing is the front door to single casks. Rather young single malt whiskies - average age between 8 and 10 years old - bottled at 46% and without any filtering or artificial colouring. Pure and honest, just the way we like them.

The youngsters of the Douglas Laing family got a makeover by Pocket Rocket Creative a few months ago and frankly, it was needed. The look was pretty dated and it could do with a revamp. The compass on the new bottles symbolises a trip through the popular whisky regions of Scotland.

#tastetheregion Twitter tasting with Douglas Laing and Uisge Source. 
Douglas Laing organised a Twitter tasting with some known and lesser known whisky bloggers (including myself) to give the Provenance series new look some attention. A selection of five single malts were paired with still water from Uisge Source: water from Cairgorn's Well in Speyside, Highlands water from Saint Colman's Well and a bottle of water from Islay.

Douglas Laing Provenance
The big five: Mortlach 8yo, Macduff 8yo,
Benrinnes 11yo, Glenallachie 7yo and Bunnahabhain 8yo

Tasting notes

Time to have a taste of the five whiskies and note down my impressions. The Mortlach and Bunnahabhain have a bit of a head start on the others for me. Let's see how the youngsters perform.  

Douglas Laing Mortlach 8yo

Mortlach Douglas Laing Provenance
  • Mortlach Distillery, Dufftown (Speyside)
  • Douglas Laing Provenance single cask
  • 8 year old single malt
  • Refill hogshead DMG 10974
  • 46% alcohol
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered
Colour: White wine.

Nose: A nice fruity start. A bag of English wine gums gets opened. Fresh and sweet. Quite malty, nothing uncommon for such a young malt. Dried hay and pleasant farm aromas. Furniture polish wax with vanilla.
A drop of Speysidewater from Cairgorms Well adds a touch of rhubarb and apple compote and some juicy prunes as well.

Taste: Fruit candy! Fruittella and wine gums. Green pepper and spices. Think cinnamon, ginger and turmeric.

Finish: Dried ale malt with a soft and sweet touch on the back. Fairly short and light.

Even young bourbon matured Mortlach (like this one) scores well in my book. A fruity dram showing already a pleasant complexity at a young age. Pretty good whisky for a decent price.

Price: £35.00
Available at:

Douglas Laing Macduff 8yo

Macduff Douglas Laing Provenance
  • Glen Deveron / Macduff Distillery, Banff (Highland)
  • Douglas Laing Provenance single cask
  • 8 year old single malt
  • Refill hogshead DMG 10986
  • 46% alcohol
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered
Colour: A pale white wine.

Nose: Sweet malt, honey and burned sugar. A small bowl of sake (the Japanese version, not the Chinese junk). This has the qualities of a stout or a dark beer with caramel notes. Baked banana with whipped cream. Eucalyptus candy. The green cone shaped candy with eucalyptus flavours.
A drop of water releases buttered apples with cinnamon. Suddenly this turns into a liquid dessert.

Taste: Green candy and fresh herbs. Mint and eucalyptus. A buttery mouth feel with a certain freshness to it. And some nutmeg.
With water there's a bit more apple and pepper notes.

Finish: Wood and malt. A nice elegant touch of banana. A simple spicy finish.

I'm not that familiar with Macduff or The Deveron (previously also called Glen Deveron). Not as good as the Mortlach, but I'm having some prejudices here. A nice whisky with layers of sweet and spicyness. 

Price: £40.28
Available at:

Douglas Laing Benrinnes 11yo

Benrinnes Douglas Laing Provenance
  • Benrinnes Distillery, Charlestown of Aberlour (Speyside)
  • Douglas Laing Provenance single cask
  • 11 year old single malt
  • Refill hogshead DMG 10965
  • 46% alcohol
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered
Colour: Again white wine.

Nose: Marzipan and almond paste hitting you full frontal. Muesli and aniseed (as you can find it in Elixir d'Anvers). Buckwheat biscuits and pink grapefruit. Pad thai noodles and roasted nuts dipped in honey.
Speysidewater makes it waxy. Candle wax, aniseed and orange soap. I'm even getting some brackish water and fermented fruit. I shouldn't have added the water...

Taste: Roasted nuts and malt. Grapefruit with pepper and galanga or ginger. Sweet and creamy on the tongue.
With water it remains a light and soft dram. Burned or roasted nuts. Pepper and pineapple.

Finish: Roasted malt with citrus peel and a tiny whiff of rubber.

I'm not a huge fan of this Benrinnes. The start was promising unfortunately with water it turned out not so good. But I'd advise you to make your own decision. My palate isn't yours. 

Price: £46.68
Available at: 

Douglas Laing Glenallachie 7yo

Glenallachie Douglas Laing Provenance
  • Glenallachie Distiller, Aberlour (Speyside)
  • Douglas Laing Provenance single cask
  • 7 year old single malt
  • Sherry butt DMG 10956
  • 46% alcohol
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered
Colour: Gold with a copper hue.

Nose: Dry and sweet at the same time. A big sherry influence. Orange gravy with Worcestershire. A big bag of candy with liquorice root. A slight rubbery note and lacquered duck.
A drop of water adds a certain gasoline note. I'm rather fond of this one!

Taste: A rush of sweet flavours on the tongue. Honey and red-rose candy. In Dutch we call them "poepegatjes". Grenadine and raspberry syrup with a good dose of spices and wood.

Finish: The spice wood lingers in the mouth. Citrus flavours like oranges and grapefruit.

Glenallachie was unknown to me and I have to admit, I'm impressed. The heavy sherry flavours make this a beautiful rounded whisky, even after only seven years in the cask. This tastes morish!

Available at:

Douglas Laing Bunnahabhain 8yo

Bunnahabhain Douglas Laing Provenance
  • Bunnahabhain Distillery, Port Askaig (Islay)
  • Douglas Laing Provenance single cask
  • 8 year old single malt
  • Refill hogshead DMG 10966
  • 46% alcohol
  • Natural colour & unchillfiltered
Colour: Bleached straw.

Nose: Scorched meat on the barbecue. A whiff of cardboard drenched in salt water. Cigarettes or tobacco mixed with apple juice and malt.
Things get really interesting with a drop of the Islay water. Citrus apple and fino sherry notes. A bag of mixed dried fruits from an English supermarket.

Taste: Sweet strawberries dipped in chocolate. Cocao powder with salted caramel. A cigarette with spicy tobacco.
The Islay water does not add as much to the palate as it did to the nose. A beautiful mix of sweet and spices. Caramel with chocolate and cayenne pepper.

Finish: I'm loving the aftertaste with small apples, fino sherry and calvados.

Bunnahabhain is one of my personal favourites and has never disappointed me. This is one for the books and the shopping basket. The smoke lingers on the background at the start but with some time and some oxygen it breaks through. A sure candidate to end up in the cabinet... with the Mortlach of course. 

Price: £46.68
Available at:

The Provenance single casks is a great value for money series with an occasional hidden gem. Both the Mortlach and Bunnahabhain lived up to their reputation. The Glenallachie was a pleasant surprise. By the way, did you know that Douglas Laing is your only shot if you want to taste some independent Talisker? There is one in the new batch of Provenance whiskies as well. 

The five samples and three miniature Uisge Source bottles were offered by Douglas Laing for a tweet tasting with Jan Beckers, their Global Malt Ambassador and Belgian connection at Douglas Laing.