Douglas Laing Ben Nevis Tasting Notes

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

Douglas Laing Old Particular Ben Nevis 2001 (14 year old) 48.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0165/DL10859

Dist: Jun 2001 Btl: Aug 2015/ Tasted: Sept 2015

Thick and very bready aromas. Malty with hints of treacle, herbs and sweet barley. With time it becomes rather fragrant with a touch of crystallised orange, white fruit and earth.

The palate is quite vanilla’d but still bready and malty with a touch of stewed fruit and soft spice. Some pleasantly sweet barley and citrus appears on the middle. Long, lightly toffee’d, herbal (mentholated) and malty finish. 

Douglas Laing Old Particular Ben Nevis 1998 (16 year old) 48.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0178/ DL10556

Dist: May 1998 Btl: Nov 2014/ Tasted: Mar 2015

Thick and bready aromas of baked fruit with hints of boiled sweets, barley and buttery oak.

The palate is malty and sweet with barley, baked pear. Gently spiced with an alcohol/ citrus bite, which is balanced by the light syrup. Long and spicy with a light cocoa powder dusting.

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

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0124/ DL10415

Dist: July 1996 Btl: Aug 2014/ Tasted: Sept 2014

Aromas of sour dough and barley mingle with white fruit, white wine vinegar, boiled sweets and a touch of vanilla and grass. With time some perfumed oil and bready malt appear along with a light coffee note.

The palate opens like the nose with the sour dough and barley, followed by vanilla and edgy oak tannins. Again the oak is a little dusty with hints of malt and coffee. The thick honey however really comes through on the middle, coating the tannins. Lovely length with no shortage of mature fruit. Finally the oak returns to lightly bitter the finish but the honey and fruit is still compensating.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Ben Nevis 1996 (20 year old) 49.8%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OL|D0347/ DL11354

Dist: Nov 1996 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Jan 2017

The nose is intense and herbal with a light malty/ bready note. Beautifully mature with hints of barley and taught, grippy oak which becomes a little dusty at the edges.

The palate is barley’d and taught with hints of malt and dark honey. Subtle, dusty oak on the middle with a touch of wood spice, but the barley and honey sweetness balance. Long and lightly herbal with hints of bitter chocolate, citrus, wood smoke and lingering soft oak.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 1996 (16 year old) 50%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OMC2218/ DL8228

Dist: Oct 1996 Btl: Oct 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A big, boisterously dark nose of treacle, malt, dark honey and toffee along with hints of crushed cumin and coriander seed. Slightly balsamic, but the sherry is very clean and even a touch of ‘doughy’ distillery character is evident.

The palate is quite sweet with treacle coated dark fruit and malt with hints of raisins and a bready almost fudgy middle as the distillery character tries to come through. The finish is a touch on the dry side as the tannins bite but they add a delicious touch of spice and liquorice. The sugars linger long after the bitterness has faded though.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 1971 (40 year old) 45.8%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: DL6991

Dist: Mar 1971 Btl: Mar 2011/ Tasted: May 2011

A robust and aromatic nose which reeks of maturity. Brown sugar coated fruit and sawdust mingles with an old marc-like oxidised rancio. Seriously complex with hints of dry smoke, coffee, marzipan and toffee’d oak.

The palate is a shade lighter than the nose would suggest and that ‘love or hate’ old marc character is quite prominent, mingling with light treacle, liquorice, dark spices and a subtle peat note. Very long with the old marc notes dominating and a delicate smoky finish. A very unusual Ben Nevis and one that I would suspect is an acquired taste, but if you like unusual spirits, which I do then this is definitely worth trying.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 1966 (46 year old) 43.1%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2245/ DL9511

Dist: June 1966 Btl: Feb 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

Wow! What a nose! So deep and so, so complex! Huge, rum like aromas of dried fruit and pepper rise from the glass. Sublime almost old grain whisky aromas appear to give the nose a spicy bite. Hints of beeswax, leather, malt, treacle and a touch of camphor and medicinal herbs. In fact it is now becoming quite agricole-esque. Gorgeously crumbly spices and mature, earthy, varnished oak add to the complexity. Stunning!

The palate opens with some gorgeously delicate rum and raisins, liberally coated with dark chocolate. Hints of macerated, treacle dipped orange and pithy, dark spices follow. Malty and full with some developing tannins on the middle. So deep it’s untrue with mature marzipan oak, more treacle and more buzzy spices giving it an almost perfumed grain feel. Amazingly long with a touch of light citrus, cigar ash, wood smoke and burnt spices in the finish


Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Ben Nevis 2006 (8 year old) 46%

Code: PBR0138/ Dist: June 2006 Btl: Sept 2014/ Tasted: Oct 2014

Very oily, feinty and ruby with more than a little ‘off the still character’ and a touch of burnt caramel.

The palate is vague and much like the nose. Some barley comes through on the middle and the finish is lightly spiced with a brief orange note. Far too young and lacking any real character.


Douglas Laing Provenance Ben Nevis 2006 (10 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1233/ DL11497

Dist: June 2006 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Jan 2017

Quite citric, fresh and perfumed, which is unusual for Ben Nevis. Slightly malty with grass, earth and some heavier oils.

The palate is fuller and more classically bready with straw, damp earth and hints of sweet, smoky white fruit and sweet vanilla. A little confected on the middle but a good, mineral finish with sweet, juicy orange after-taste.

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