Douglas Laing Macallan Tasting Notes

Posted: September 9, 2011 in Macallan, Scotch Whisky A-G

Douglas Laing Xtra Old Particular Macallan 1991 (25 year old) 51.5%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead?/ Code: XOP0079/ Dist: Mar 1991 Btl: Nov 2016?/ Tasted: Dec 2016

A nose of dense but edgy barley with gooseberry, lime and subtle vanilla oak. Lightly honeyed with unsweetened pineapple and banana, but that sub-industrial edginess is not what I would expect from Macallan and frankly it’s a bit off putting.

The palate opens with the soft vanilla oak, dried grass, apricot, coffee and barley. Like the nose it displays and edgy barley character and although hints of unsweetened pineapple, apricot and minerals attempts to offset, there is no escaping it. Finally a little sugar coated barley appears and sort of rescues the palate. Long, with lingering oak, minerals and barley. It’s pleasant but not exactly earth chattering and not worth the £500 price tag.


Douglas Laing Old Particular Macallan 1993 (21 year old) 51.5%

Sherry/ Code: OLD0163/ Dist: Jun 1993 Btl: Jan 2015/ Tasted: Feb 2015

The nose is very oily and a little soapy and subdued. Lightly herbal dried fruit sherry mingles with a little cardboardy spice and coffee.

The palate is gently sherried with earthy spice, malt and dried fruit. Slightly buscuity on the middle and again showing a little cardboardy spice. Good length with a menthol and citrus finish. Quite a dry, citric after-taste.


Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1997 (14 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2101/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Nov 2011/ Tasted: Nov 2011

The nose is quite bready (a la Ben Nevis) with hints of malt, molasses and crunchy barley fruit. With time a slightly high toned note appears.

The palate is soft with some pleasant, gentle citrus, followed by some gentle spices. Exceedingly soft, almost to the point of non-existence. A shade watery but some pleasant zesty orange and fleshy white fruit saves the day. Suprisingly long with the spices returning on the finish.

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

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2249/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

Lovely, soft aromas of citrus, grass, honey with hints of white flowers. A beautifully beguiling nose, displaying a good freshness with a late ‘big’ sweet barley note. Very complex and developing hints of crumbly spice along with a touch of oak and balsamic.

The palate is as equally soft, opening with a grassy freshness followed by luscious honey, light toffee and citrus. Still the grassy notes hold as some sweet apricot notes develop along with hints of barley and white fruits. Stunningly complex and still it unfolds with some light orange blossom honey, soft spices and finishing with a cleansing minerality. Awesome!

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

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2196/ Dist Mar 1996 Btl Oct 2012/ Tasted Oct 2012

A mature if rather old nose of baked apple and some dusty, sweet spices. There is a touch of slightly sweet fruit but it seems a bit too old to be honest.

The palate is much like the nose opening with some malty, baked apple and balsamic notes. Quite spicy on the middle with a sliver of vanilla and a slightly spirity finish, which again seems to hint that it may be a bit long in the tooth.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2114/ Dist: June 1993 Btl: Dec 2011/ Tasted: Dec 2011

The nose is a touch on the reticent side, although time and patience shows that it is loaded with pine resin, malt and thick, juicy fruit. Quite delicate with a good maturity and a smidgen of toasted caramel oak.

The palate is soft, juicy and enormously well endowed in the honey department along with hints of butterscotch, gristy barley and caramel oak. Like the nose pleasantly mature with a short sharp alcohol kick a good length and herbaceous finish.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2153/ Dist: Nov 1993 Btl: Apr 2012/ Tasted: Apr 2012

The nose opens with some pleasantly soft honeyed barley along with hints of mentholated fruit and warming spices. Some citrus notes add balance and with time beeswax and some creamy oak notes appear. Very full and deep, sweet and succulent with some Chenin Blanc-esque notes.

Quite oaky to begin with. Plenty of vanilla fudge and lightly oiled, spicy, fleshy fruit with a citrus twist, which balances the sweetness rather well. Lovely intensity and a long, warming, spicy finish which develops a slight mentholated note.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2059/ Dist: Jun 1993 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

A very oaky nose – creamy/ buttery/ toasty and toffee’d. There is a touch of honey and some floral notes but the oak is top dog.

The palate is quite sweet with clotted cream, butter and toffee along with some wood spices. There is some spirit, which lacks any real character on the middle, but in all honesty it’s an oak monster. The alcohol is very intrusive and obliterates the oak on the finish.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2193/ Dist: Sept 1993 Btl: Aug 2012/ Tasted: Aug 2012

An intriguing and heavily spiced/ dusty nose with hints of sun dried sultanas, barley and some slightly sawdusty oak. A touch of fresh lemon lifts the nose and with time some light honey appears. The aromas are quite dense by American oak aged Macallan standards, but that’s not a criticism as it doers retain some elegance. Pleasantly mature!

Full, dense and mouth-filling on the palate. Lightly oiled with plenty of mature apricot along with a touch of banana and toffee’d oak. Quite malty on the middle with some granulated sugar and ginger notes. Seriously spicy on the finish with that citrus note in evidence in the finish, giving a lovely lift to the end.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2198/ Dist: Nov 1993 Btl: Nov 2012/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A very soft and buttery nose – oak city! Some light citrus and grass attempt to come through but the oak holds firm.

The palate is sweet and creamy with a sliver of citrus. Just like the nose the oak is the dominating factor. Wonderfully soft with some late honey and granulated sugar notes but the oak impeads any further spirit development.

Douglas Laing Old Malt Cask Macallan 1993 (18 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2213/ Dist: Dec 1993 Btl: Dec 2012/ Tasted: Dec 2012

An attractive and pleasantly fresh, grassy and citrusy nose with some juicy barley, lime and a touch of oak.

The palate opens with the lightly sweet barley followed by a touch of apricot, toffee, vanilla, malt and honey. A little fuller than the nose suggests with a lovely touch of spice. Good length with the citrus notes returning on the finish.

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

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2040/ Dist: May 1990 Btl: July 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

Now this is more like it. A beautiful, elegant, fragrant nose of pineapple, gooseberry, citrus and pear with some delicate spice and robust (although not overwhelming) oak. Lovely complexity of mature honey and barley with the fruit having a real fruit skin intensity.

The palate opens with the beautiful soft and buttery oak. Again there is a superb balance between the oak and the slightly sweet, fruity spirit. Big dollops of mature honey emerge on the middle with a touch of pear drops. Very long with a fresh, minerally, tartly-citrus and slightly mentholated finish.

Douglas Laing Premier Barrel Macallan 2002 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon/ Code: PBR0093/ Dist: Sept 2002 Btl: June 2011

An oily, botanical nose. Almost gin like with hints of cereal and butter.  Far too young to show any evolution. The palate is crisp and brittle. Straightforward and botanical, especially on the middle. Simple, uncomplicated, quite perfumed with a slightly spicy finish. 

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