Last week the guys at Douglas Laing organized a Facebook Live event, in which they broadcasted a guided tasting of some of their range. Fred Laing and Jan Beckers talked us through five drams in a rapid fire session, it took about an hour.
It was a first for me regarding Facebook Live and it works quite nicely, although there is far less interaction than during a Twitter Tasting. The benefit is, however, that it doesn’t take forever. Somehow on Twitter most tasters think they have to write a book about every single dram, which means it sometimes takes half an hour to go through one. I find that less and less appealing and find that I’m not trying to get in any Twitter Tastings because of it.
Scallywag then. It’s one of their regional blended malts, like Rock Oyster, The Epicurean and Big Peat. This one is the Speyside one, and as with most blended malts, you don’t know what goes in the mix.
The 46%, which was the first release under the brand, has been around for about two or three years. They added a cask strength edition last year and now they’ve released batch two of that. The difference in ABVs of the cask strengths indicates it’s really cask strength, not just high strength (then they’d probably have kept it at the same level).
Sweet with a scent of barley at first. I then get sweet smelling flowers, some oak. There’s a hint of orange and more and more barley.
The palate is slightly dry. As on the nose there’s a lot of barley and grains and a lot of sweetness. Slightly sharp with hints of orange, sweet citrus fruits, some pepper and baking spices.
The finish is light, a bit sharp still. There are some baking spices and I get some vanilla, and some oak.
A nice enough dram, but more an easy drinker than a whisky for tasting or exploring, in my book. I find it not as layered as I’d like and the whole feels a bit thin, even though it’s at 46%. So in short, it’s far from bad, but it also not something I’d buy.
Scallywag Cask Strength, batch 2, 54.1%
The bourbon influence is a bit bigger here. It’s richer, sweet and fruity with lots of barley again. Orange, alcohol and slightly bitter.
The palate is sweet and fruity, and slightly more smooth than I expected. There’s orange and peach. That bitterness from the nose is here again and I think I get some anise.
The finish is a slightly sharper version of the regular Scallywag.
It’s interesting that the finishes are so similar, while the palate are far more different. This one is slightly better than it’s 46% brother. It’s not as thin and a bit richer every step of the way. Having said that, it still isn’t the most interesting dram you’ll try.
This one will be released soon, I’ve not found it in any shops yet.
The regular Scallywag will set you back a little over 40 euros, and the cask strength comes in at about 65 (based on the prices for batch one)
Thanks to Douglas Laing for sending samples!
Personally I always prefer the higher strength avatars as you can then control how much you water down! We recently picked up one of the 46% to sample in an ‘uncommon blend’ themed evening… It wasn’t my first choice but still interested to see what we think…