Douglas Laing Arran Tasting Notes

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Arran, Scotch Whisky A-G

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 1996 (17 year old) 48.4%

Bourbon/ Code: OLP0018/ Dist: Feb 1996 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

A very oily and nutty nose with hints of saline infused barley and oily vanilla. Lightly earthy and a little edgy with late lemon notes.

The palate opens with the soft, light toffee oak and barley with a touch of crème caramel, nuts and light spices. Again a little edgy and lightly earthy with building tannins and alcohol. Good length with a lovely nutty, barley finish and a light camphor/ fisherman’s friends after-taste.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 1996 (18 year old) 48.4%

Bourbon/ Code: OLD0120/ Dist: Aug 1996 Btl: Oct 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2014

Interesting! Slightly herbal aromas with a fleshy pulped agave-like character. Hints of green fruit – gooseberry and lime with crunchy barley and hints of soft vanilla. Fresh and elegant with a late honeyed note.

The palate shows a lot more toffee’d oak than the nose would suggest which makes it less fresh. However the citrus is still there if a little subdued. A little white fruit emerges on the middle and the finish is very peppery and quite citrus as it finally breaks the oak shackles. Fairly salty after-taste.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 1997? (18 year old) 48.4%

Sherry/ Code: OLD0223/ Dist: ? Btl: ?/ Tasted: Aug 2015

Quite juicy with plenty of re-fill sherry dried citrus, sultana and raisin. Quite earthy, malty and herbal with a light earthy spiciness and just a suggestion of saltiness.

Moist and full of raisinated fruit with hints of milk chocolate and drying tannic spices. Subtle and succulent with plenty of fruit and barley on the middle. Beautifully balanced and long with a sweet orange conserve and spice finish.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 1996 (20 year old) 51.5%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0336/ DL11345

Dist: Aug 1996 Btl: Sept 2016/ Tasted: Oct 2016

A lovely, classic Arran nose of fresh, green apple and succulent honey. The tropical fruit (pineapple, melon, apricot and banana) fruit bustles through along with a touch of barley. Stunning depth with late buttery oak and gingery spice.

The palate is full, honeyed and barley’d with hints of dried grass. The tropical fruit is subtler but the lascivious honey is divine! Wonderful finish, which is loaded with ginger, malt, coffee, light treacle and dark, almost chocolaty wood spice. Lightly salted after-taste. Possibly the best privately bottles Arran I have tasted in ages. 

Douglas Laing Old Particular Arran 1997 (20 year old) 44.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0408/ DL11608

Dist: Jan 1997 Btl: Mar 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

Aromatic and subtly tropical nose – Apricot, pineapple, pear and apple along with some gorgeously sweet barley, sweet orange and creamy oak. A developing salty twang and citric note balance. Stunning!

The palate is moist and dense. A little less tropical, as some mature baked fruit notes are noticeable, along with a touch of malt and straw. The oak isn’t quite as voluptuously creamy either but it adds support and a subtle wood spice note. Good citric and salty finish with a suggestion of botanicals and lightly bittering oak.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Arran 1996 (15 year Old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: DL7504/ Dist: July 1996 Btl: July 2011

Tasted: May 2013

The nose is surprisingly youthful with some citrus and lightly musty spices. It’s a little on the charmless side with damp burnt wood, bog myrtle along with some slightly murky coffee grains.

The palate opens with the citrus, damp earth and light coffee notes, but the old wood tannins are building! It does have some pleasant barley moments but they are lost in the gloom and bitterness.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Arran 1996 (15 year Old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2073/ Dist: Sept 1996 Btl: Aug 2011/ Tasted: Aug 2011

A lovely nose, full of sweet, soft apricot, apple, banana along with a slight coastal edge and a touch of white grape. The oak supports the full and fruity aromas really well.

The palate mirrors the nose with regard to it’s immense fruitiness. Maybe a touch less coastal but it shows more honey and the fruit is pleasantly tropical in character. Seriously mouth-filling with a good balancing citrus thread. Very long with the citrus lingering along with a late salty flourish.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Arran 1997 (15 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2225/ Dist: Jan 1997 Btl: Dec 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2013

A dark, malty, rather butch nose of coffee, dark wood, sticky toffee along with some warming spices, baked fruit and a hint of earthy-peat.

The palate is very much like the nose, opening with dark malt and toffee/ treacle followed by baked fruit and molasses. Quite alcoholic with a lightly herbal finish. Definitely an unusual bottling of Arran.


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