Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie 25

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a pannic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!
- Robert Burns -

Robert Burns
Picture: Wikipedia (public domain)

Last autumn Douglas Laing launched a 25-year-old version of it's Highland blend Timorous Beastie. 1.600 bottles were put together from a marriage of Highland whiskies matured in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled at 46.8% ABV.

“It is said to have a buttery, honey style, with notes of marmalade, ginger and damp oak. It’s a perfect illustration as to how rich Highland malts mellow as they mature whilst developing a wonderful complexity. This expression carried the trademark Timorous Beastie vanilla and honey style – as a result of being matured predominantly in ex-Bourbon casks – as well as an orange tang and sweet spiciness, perfect for autumn evenings.”

Let's catch a wee little mouse, shall we?

Update: This should have been published on January 25, alas a flue decided otherwise... So I decided to finish the sample on my birthday. Not a bad birthday dram right?

Identity card

Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie 25

  • Official bottling from Douglas Laing Co.
  • 25-year-old blended malt from Highland Whiskies
  • Alcohol: 46.8% ABV
  • Price: £160

Tasting notes

Colour: Light gold with an oily texture and slow legs. 

Nose: Vanilla, malt and custard are defining the first impression. Further up there's leather, some cherries, clementines and aniseed. Add a touch of talc, apple vinegar and elixir d'Anvers. Or could it be Mandarin Napoleon? Sour apples and sour sweets. 
With water: It can withstand quite a few drops of water. Flavours are holding up really good. 

Taste: A bittersweet start. The evolution is quite creamy and sweet with a pinch of spices. Bitter orange peel, vanilla pods and creamy butter. Cardamon and coriander seeds. balsawood, leather and an old cigar box.
With water: Sweet apple peel, cardamom and orange. The mouthfeel is buttery and creamy. Fragrant sandalwood and clove linger in the background.

Finish: This oldie leaves the house slowly leaving behind menthol, orange and sandalwood. 

Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie 25
A good opportunity to put the Peugeot n°1 glass for spirits and young wines to the test

This is an oldie that's far from shy. 25 years in the wood left its mark on the beastie. Those well-aged blended malts from Douglas Laing - Yes, Big Peat Gold,  I'm looking at you - are raising the bar at an incredible value for money.

Timorous Beastie is perfectly drinkable at is base strength but it can take quite some water without deteriorating.  This is already a modern, well-balanced, classic for special occasions. 

Image & sample: Douglas Laing