Tuesday, March 3, 2015
New K&L Scotch: Old Particular
Next in my series of K&L exclusive barrels are whiskies from Douglas Laing, including one blend under K&L's Faultline label and four single malts bottled in 2014 under the Old Particular label. Unlike yesterday's Hepburn's Choice malts, these are not cask strength.
Faultline Blended Scotch, 50% ($25)
The nose is malty in a sort of Clynelish style. It's got some coastal notes but also some floral. The palate opens with sweet peat. The peat is present but not overwhelming, and the sweetness gives it a sort of candy coating. The mouthfeel is light. The finish is peaty and, for the first time, shows some grain whiskey notes. A minute later the sweetness is back adding a chocolate note to the grain, like Ovaltine.
This is a very solid blend with some good peat action, and at $25, it's a no-brainer. The price to quality ratio is insanely good.
Laphroaig 16 yo, Old Particular, distilled 1997, 48.4% abv ($140)
The nose is pure Laphroaig with big, funky, peaty notes. The palate starts with big peat but gradually develops a sweet wine note, but the peat comes back for the finish along with some BBQ smoke. This is very tasty. It's everything you would want from a 16 year old Laphroaig.
Tamdhu 16 yo, Old Particular, distilled 1998, 48.4% abv ($100)
This has a very fruity nose with pears. The palate is malty/spicy with some sweetness. There's a nice balance between the sweet and spicy notes. The finish is a peppery white wine, like a Gerwurztraminer. I really like this one. It's sugar and spice and everything nice.
Tobermory 18 yo, Old Particular, distilled 1996, 48.4% abv ($110)
The nose is malty/fruity with mild peat. The palate is rich with light peat, growing stronger as it goes down and trailing off into the finish with a touch of mint. This is a really nice one as well.
Macallan 21 yo, Old Particular, distilled 1993, 51.5% abv ($250)
The nose is sweet and fruity. The palate starts sweet but gets drier. It then develops a peppery note that adds complexity and moves it into the finish. This is from a refill bourbon cask, and while I haven't been a huge fan of bourbon cask Macallans in the past, this one is really good. I'd always associated the Macallan profile with sherry, but something about this feels very Macallan even without the sherry influence. Would I pay $250 for it? Well, I haven't yet, but I wouldn't rule it out.
This was a very good set of malts. As a whole, I liked them better than yesterday's selection, though they are also more expensive. My favorites were the Macallan and the Tobermory followed by the Laphroaig, but they were all quite good.
Tomorrow: Scotch Single Grain Whiskies
Thanks to David Othenin-Girard for the samples.