Douglas Laing has finally completed their "Tour of Scotland". A voyage that started with the famous Big Peat blended malt from Islay and took them to Speyside with Scallywag, the Highlands with Timorous Beastie, the Scottish Islands with Rock Oyster and the Lowlands with the überdandy The Epicurean. That leaves us with the Campbeltown region to end the journey.
The resurrected tiny Campbeltown region was once home to thirty distilleries and dared to call itself "the whisky capital of the world". Alas, their luck turned with the Prohibition and blenders favouring Speyside malts. Now only three distilleries are active. Springbank with its sub-brands Hazelburn (triple distilled) and Longrow (heavily peated), the sister distillery Glengyle producing Kilkerran and Glen Scotia.
Which brings us back to Douglas Laing's the Gauldrons. Since the small-scale Glengyle distillery does not supply to independent bottlers and the cult malts from Springbank are rather rarely seen amongst the indies these days, we might suspect that most of the blend components come from Glen Scotia (which is not a bad thing, don't get me wrong on this) and a minority comes from Springbank.
The name for the Campbeltown blended malt comes from a bay - The Bay of Storms - near the village of Machrihanish. The sandy beaches and dark coves are a famous spot for hikers. But the future of the Gauldrons seems uncertain. Norwegian seafood company Marine Harvest announced plans to build a factory on the site thus destroying this beautiful landmark...
But let's venture out into these dark sandy coves with a glass of The Gauldrons, shall we?
Identity Card The Gauldrons
- Douglas Laing Remarkable Regional Malts
- Campbeltown blended malt Scotch whisky
- Alcohol: 46.2% ABV (batch 1)
Tasting notesColour: Pale gold. A beautiful texture due to omitting chill-filtration.
Nose: A lovely sweet nose. Strawberry sour stripes and salty liquorice candy. Malt with cinnamon and salted caramel. Orange candy and coriander seed. The smoke is barely noticeable. A lovely whiff of gasoline.
With water: Aha, now there's a tiny whiff of smoke. A jar of sugar flavoured with orange rind.
Taste: Dry and spicy. The sweetness comes a bit later. A light silky texture. Salted popcorn and peaches. Golden syrup, grissini breadsticks with a touch of honey.
With water: A bit dryer. Oak and pepper. A shot of Poire Williams, an eaux-de-vie made from pears.
Finish: Peaches, honey and some mineral notes.
Douglas Laings concludes their Remarkable Malts with a bang. I'm not sure if it is completely representative for Campbeltown. It lacks a bit of that typical lemon-chilli Springbank smoke. But that's my just my opinion and maybe I'm not that well-versed in Campbeltown whiskies. It still is a fine sweet whisky and completely different from the previous Remarkable Malts.
Picture: Douglas Laing
Sample disclosure: The Douglas Laing The Gauldrons sample was offered by Douglas Laing. Opinions expressed in this review are of course my own.