Douglas Laing Port Dundas Tasting Notes

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Port Dundas, Scottish Grain Whisky

Douglas Laing Directors Cut Port Dundas 1982 (30 year old) 58.7%

Bourbon/ Code: DIR0020/ Dist: Feb 1982 Btl: June 2012/ Tasted: June 2012

That’s a seriously deep and complex nose. Mature, lightly liquorice coated dried rum-like fruit mingles with a huge amount of dusty spices. Slightly herbal and now moving into a more herbal, Armangnac-esque rancio. The oak arrives on a wave of luscious, creamy vanillins and with time a touch of coffee and some subtle graininess becomes apparent.

The palate opens with purpose and intensity, showing some amazing maturity. Soft, ripe berry fruit and toffee oak. The nippy grain comes through along with some tannin and alcohol. Once that passes the rum-like dried fruit appear along with some pure, soft vanilla pod. Quite a mouth-watering finish with hints of milk chocolate and more dried fruit. A superb old grain.

Douglas Laing Directors Cut Port Dundas 1981 (30 year old) 59.5%

Code: DL7600/ Dist: Jan 1981 Btl: Nov 2011/ Tasted: Mar 2012

High toned, crisp and very grainy aromas. The grain aromas float above a bed of beautiful, mature American oak which imparts hints of violet, rich toffee, caramel, crème brulee and coffee.

The palate opens with the sweet grain followed by the oak, which starts to bitter but is rather well held in check by some fabulously sweet, tropical plum and apricot fruit. Mouth watering alcohol gives the finish quite a kick.

With water the nose becomes richer, fruitier and pleasantly evocative with hints of banana. The palate has become velvety soft and creamy with some rum like dried fruit now showing. Lovely length with the creamy oak returning.


Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Port Dundas 1992 (21 year old) 55.7%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0104/ Dist: Jan 1992 Btl: Mar 2013/ Tasted: Apr 2013

Gently spiced and lightly honeyed aromas with fresh, slightly smoky grains mingle with a delicate, herbal, dried fruit rancio and subservient oak.

Relatively light in body, the palate opens with the lightly spiced honey, dried apricot, sultanas and oak. The spices build pleasantly on the middle as the grain and alcohol combination begins to nip. A little fuller now with the oak adding a feathery caramel note and a little dry tannin. Good length with quite a sweet dried fruit finish.

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Port Dundas 1988(?) (25 year old) 55.2%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0121/ Dist: ???? Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

The aromas are initially fairly toffee’d but the crisp but sweet grain comes through with purpose. The aromas have a lovely verve and freshness with a subtle dried fruit and developing vanilla character. Gently spiced with a touch of smoke.

The palate opens with the light toffee followed by the sweet grain notes. Lightly citric on the middle with developing oily dried sultana and white grape. Lovely spiciness and a long, sweet barley sugar and crisp grain finish. Like the nose it is wonderfully fresh and vibrant.

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Port Dundas 1978 (33 year old) 54.2%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0077/ Dist: Jan 1978 Btl: Sept 2011/ Tasted: Sept 2011

A lovely, deep, richly oaked nose, accented with some delightfully crumbly spices. A serious hit of sweet oak vanillins but balanced by hints of barley sweetness and lithe, slightly rum-like dried fruits.

The palate is soft, yet intense with a distinct rum-like dried fruit rancio. The oak is really well behaved and sits in the background as some beautiful spice, alcohol and vanilla notes build. Stunning depth and length with a delicate oiliness to the fruit.

A drop of water makes the nose subtler and less intense but it brings out the oaks toasty character and the grain takes on a wonderful rye bite. The palate like the nose is subtler and softer. More mouth-filling and with less of the oak character, the dried fruits show wonderfully. Maybe it lacks the punch of taking it neat but either way it’s yet another stunning grain cask. And at this price a real bargain.

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Port Dundas 1978 (34 year old) 58.6%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0084/ Dist: Jan 1978 Btl: May 2012/ Tasted: May 2012

Quite herbal and high toned aromas. Oily, slightly spicy and smoky with some very violet and mature American oak. Quite elegant and complex, although the aromas take some time to emerge. Now slightly leathery with hints of tobacco and fennel. The oak isn’t overly intrusive and it sits beneath adding a lovely degree of pleasantly sweet vanillins.

The palate opens with some sweet spice and fat corn. Very full an flavoursome with a touch of herbs. The alcohol and wood tannins do dry the middle a tad but there is some sweetness to balance. Serious, grainy intensity on the middle, which leads into a long, smoky finish nuanced with unpretentious oak. In fact the oak is rather delicate. That graininess continues through, giving the finish a lovely herbal-grain freshness. Very complex with a hint of slightly oxidised fruit in the aftertaste.

Douglas Laing ‘The Clan Denny’ Port Dundas 1978 (34 year old) 52%

Bourbon/ Code: DEN0091/ Dist: Jan 1978 Btl: Nov 2011/ Tasted: Nov 2012

A lovely nose opening with hints of burnt orange and fresh violets, followed by the soft, sweet, creamy, lightly toasted oak. Wave after wave of creamy coffee-oak aromas rise from the glass along with a touch of smoke and a seriously developing perfumed note. Finally some spicy grain appears but the oak is still in total control, but it’s so wonderfully soft and inviting!

The palate is quite fudgy with the toffee/ coffee oak showing first along with a large dollop of toffee coated banana. It takes a while for the grainy spice notes to force their way through but they do! Quite elegant for such an oak monster. It hits a seriously mouth-coating crescendo on the middle, punctuated by the balancing alcohol and nippy grain. Lovely length with a raisinated fruit and delicate spice finish.


Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 2004 (11 year old)

Bourbon/ Code: OLD0314/ Dist: Jul 2004 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

A nose of brittle lemon, smoke and crunchy cereal. Hints of dried fruit, but the aromas are more like an oak aged vodka in style. Quite sweet with building smoke.

The palate shows more vanilla oak with hints of lemon and dried fruit. Straightforward but pleasantly deep with building spice. Medium length with lingering, crisp and spicy grain notes.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 2004 (12 year old) 48.4%

Code: OLD0342/ Dist: Jul 2004 Btl: Nov 2016?/ Tasted: Dec 2016

The nose is soft and nutty with plenty of rummy dried fruit and vodka-like grainy notes. A touch of oak follows along with lemon candy.

The palate again displays a very oak aged vodka character with charred oak, lemon candy and subtle dried fruit. Slightly crisp and grassy on the finish with dried fruit lingering.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 2004 (12 year old) 48.4%

Refill Bourbon Barrel/ Code: OLD0443/ Dist: Jul 2004 Btl: June 2017

On first sniff the aromas are quite smoky and it feels more like it’s been aged in an ex-Islay cask. A little oak aged vodka-like with lemon and very subtle dried fruit.

The palate opens with sweet cereal and subtly toasty oak. Again there’s a distinct smokiness although it’s subtler than the nose. Simple but pleasant with lingering dried fruit, citrus and subtle tannins. For a young grain it’s very drinkable.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 1990 (25 year old) 51.5%

Code: OLD0240/ Dist: Feb 1990 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Aromas of light treacle coated dried fruits and pungent, rich, almost sherried spices. Hints of prune, walnut oil and gritty tannins. Lovely maturity with hints of vanilla and edgy green fruit. Denser than the Girvan. With time the oak becomes beautifully fragrant and dusty.

Like the nose, the palate opens with the light treacle, walnuts, prune and a touch of raisinated fruit and some lovely dark wood spices. Subtly herbal grain notes come through on the middle. Very long and very spicy. Vibrant and edgy with the herbal grain dominating but the light treacle, dark chocolate and dried fruit balances.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 1988 (27 year old) 54.6%

Refill Hogshead/ Code: OLD0276/ Dist: Oct 1988 Btl: Nov 2015/ Tasted: Dec 2015

Intense, herbal toffee and edgy dried fruit aromas. Seriously full and deep with layer upon layer of dried fruit, cashew nuts, vanilla oak, green oak, perfumed honey and earth. Sublime!

The palate is soft and silky with a touch more toffee, but like the nose the edgy, herbal dried fruit balances. A little more crisp grain and citrus notes showing but the lightly treacle, nuts and dried fruit powers through. Lovely intensity with an almost salty finish. The oak finally returns in the after-taste, but it’s still pretty subtle.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 1988 (27 year old) 51.5%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0318/ DL11129

Dist: Oct 1988 Btl: May 2016/ Tasted: June 2016

A nose of lightly oiled lemon with hints of granulated sugar and sherbet. Good intensity with a developing brown sugar and dried fruit note along with some subtle but Bourbony oak.

Sweet Bourbony oak to start on the palate, followed by brown sugar and a good depth of slightly oily dried fruit. Lovely spice intensity with coffee tannins, light treacle and dry walnut shell. Long and remaining sweet, although the alcohol lends some balance. Lingering dried fruit, oak and grippy tannins. Pleasant white chocolate after-taste.

Douglas Laing Old Particular Port Dundas 1988 (28 year old) 51.8%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OLD0380/ DL11526

Dist: Oct 1998 Btl: Nov 2016/ Tasted: Jun 2017

Aromas of high toned dried fruit with a touch of toffee’d oak. The nose fills out well with time as some darker dried fruit notes appear, along with a touch of honey and a subtle smokiness.

The palate is lighter and edgier with plenty of crisp column still spice and dried fruit. Slightly smoky with the oak sitting ijn the background. Lovely depth and continuing quite spicy through the finish. Lingering dried fruit and citrus.


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