Douglas Laing Blair Athol Tasting Notes

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Blair Athol, Scotch Whisky A-G

Douglas Laing Old Particular Blair Athol 2002 (15 year old) 48.4%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0481/ Dist: Sept 2002 Btl: Sept 2017/ Tasted: Nov 2017

Wonderfully perfumed and aromatic with lashing of tropical melon, apricot, pineapple and hints of straw and barley. Very complex with developing, almost gin-like botanicals, manuka honey and pepper.

The palate is crisp and mineral with hints of lime, honey and barley. Pleasantly fruity on the middle, if a little simple and less tropical than the nose would suggest, but the finish is good, with lingering citrus and minerals.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Blair Athol 1995 (18 year old) 48.4%

Sherry/ Code: OLD0126/ Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: Oct 2014/ Tasted: Nov 2014

Dense, grainy and neutral to start. Quite oily with a touch of slightly herbal barley. There appears to be a little sherry spice and a touch of chicory and that’s about it.

The palate opens with some lightly toasted toffee and creamy vanilla. Hints of citrus and soft sherried spices, which come through quite powerfully on the finish. Pleasant enough, if a little simple

Douglas Laing Old Particular Blair Athol 1993 (20 year old) 51.5%

Sherry/ Code: OLP0004/ Dist: Apr 1993 Btl: Aug 2013/ Tasted: Sept 2013

A lovely, nutty Manzanilla-esque sherry nose of green nuts, light treacle and candied orange. Pleasantly fragrant with a developing dried grape, sultana, stewed fruit and moist nutty fruitcake nuances.

The palate is dry and very nutty, opening with baked fruit, spice and treacle. Quite drying on the middle as the tannins arrive with a distinct green nuts sherried rancio. However a dollop of light syrup and the beautiful juiciness of the malt counterbalances the dryness. Very long with a mouth-watering marzipan and sweet spice finale with a light cocoa powder after-taste. A beautifully nature sherry cask.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Blair Athol 1995 (21 year old) 51.5%

Refill Sherry Hogshead/ Code: OLD0251/ DL11007

Dist: Sept 1995 Btl: Sept 2016/ Tasted: Nov 2016

A chunky, spicy, coffee’d, very obviously first-fill Oloroso nose. Very herbal with hints of baked apple and oxidised fruit.

The palate is soft and treacly with dired fruit and herbal notes. Again very sherried and obviously first-fill with hints of citrus, walnut and spice. Medium length with lingering marmalade orange and prune. A little drying and tannic on the after-taste but the treacle just about balances.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Blair Athol 1995 (21 year old) 51.5%

Sherry Butt/ Code: OLD0446/ DL11788

Dist: Nov 1995 Btl: Jun 2017/ Tasted: July 2017

The nose is quite spicy, but within those spice notes some cardboardy notes can be detected. Subtle, herbal Oloroso, dried fruit and citrus follows.

The palate is as spicy as the nose suggests with treacle, liquorice and more woody dried fruit. Subtly citric on the middle with a long, peppery spice finish. Simple, but cleaner.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Blair Athol 1990 (21 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2080/ Dist: Aug 1990 Btl Sept 2011/ Tasted: Sept 2011

A fresh, citrus (lime) infused honeyed nose with aBen Nevis like doughy character. There are some high toned, peppery marc/ rose petal notes and some edgy ripe, sherberty fruit notes too. Hmm, all quite odd it has to be said.

The palate is reasonably sweet and syrupy with hints of honey. Overall it does feel a bit flat though and bordering on the industrial. The out of left field one is hit by a plethora of pure cracked black pepper notes, which linger through to the finish. It’s a rather unusual to say the least but Douglas Laing do seem to bottle some unusual Blair Athol (see June’s Premier Barrel bottling for example!)

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask ‘Cigar Malt’ Blair Athol 1999 (12 year old) 50%


Code: OMC2027/ Dist: Apr 1999 Btl: Nov 2011/ Tasted: Nov 2011

A herbal sherry nose with spiced, dried fruit and caramel notes.

The palate all soft, sweet Oloroso’d dried fruit and nuts. Pretty straightforward, sweet and spicy right through until the end where a slight sulphur blemish appears and the tannins dry it out. Rather forgettable stuff I’m afraid to say.


Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Blair Athol 2000 (10 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PBR0094/ Dist: Sept 2000 Btl: June 2011

A most unusual nose for Blair Athol – Distinctly coastal with some herbal, sweet peat. A bit like Bowmore or Highland Park when they are in their fishy guise. Quite phenolic with a touch of burnt wood and a late soapy note. The palate is quite sweet and sugary with some phenolically enhanced white fruit and a touch ofparmaviolets and fish oils. It’s a bit simple and the finish is a bit on the hot side, plus lacking any real distillery character because of the use of peat. But it’s interesting nevertheless!

Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Blair Athol 1999 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PBR0110/ Dist Jan 1999 Btl: Nov 2011/ Tasted: Nov 2011

A rather high toned and spirity nose with hints of herbs and burnt caramel. Unlike the Provenance bottling this seems a lot younger, but just like the Provenance bottling the sherry is pretty subtle, maybe too subtle?

The palate is soft and quite caramelised, slightly herbal and somewhat non-descript. With time it becomes rather sugary sweet and there is a hint of dried macerated fruit. Again very subtle on the sherry oak but it does bitter out the finish.


Douglas Laing Provenance Blair Athol 2002 (14 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1246/ DL11488

Dist: Oct 2002 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Jan 2017

A dense nose of lightly herbal barley and citrus. Slightly grainy with a very subtle oak character so it’s very spirit focused. Good depth.

Dense and rich on the palate with barley, straw and honey. A little straightforward but pleasantly deep with a smidge more oak. Medium length with a granity and drying tannin finish.


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