The regional malts selection from Douglas Laing has been a mainstay range of whiskies for both newcomers and old hands. Marketed to those aged 25-35 I would say with its interesting quirky labels the range consists of 5 segments each representing one of the territories in scotch whisky.
In more recent years each segment has had a number of special editions on top of the core bottle. Each limited edition is either a special label, cask strength, an age statement or all three. In this mini series we will go through each of the core range bottles before opening up some of the limited edition bottles in my collection to compare and constraint which are worth your time and which are probably worth avoiding.
Representing the lowland region is The Epicurean which has a dapper man from the 1930’s on the label. Epicurean is defined as:
a person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.
In 1930s, Glasgow city, there lived a man so stylish and witty,
With a cheeky grin and twinkling eye,
his dram in hand was seldom dry,
He’d tempt you with indulgent treasures;
fine food & drink his undoubted pleasures,
Exuding great knowledge and sophistication,
our connoisseur deserved admiration,
The life and soul of any party,
he regaled those present with tales so hearty,
Of wondrous banquets in foreign climes,
of sumptuous food and drink sublime!
Around the town he gained such fame
that “The Epicurean” soon became his nickname.
The Epicurean is bottled at a very healthy 46.2%ABV and natural colour. It is also like all Douglas Laing releases unchill filtered. With no age statement it is unclear how old the components of this malt blend are although we do know they are all malt whiskies from the lowland region. That would suggest to me at least Auchentoshan is in this recipe given the volume you need for an ongoing release. I would also suggest given the price being around 35 pounds and colour it is probably fairly young.
Colour – white wine
Nose – The nose is pretty restrained and closed. There is chemically notes of petrol and nail varnish. There is lemon notes but more those lemon notes from cleaning products rather than a lemon tree. There is mint and other herbs in there to but the chemical aspect is most dominant.
Palate – The palate is pretty hot as well. Water and time don’t really seem to sort that much. Besides that though there is a touch of barley water and slightly burnt apple pies.
Finish – The finish is pretty short which is a blessing because honestly this is not an enjoyable experience at all. There is more mint and burnt toast but its still just hot and under matured to me.
The tasting notes really gave away my opinion of this. Its not very nice, under matured and really pretty disappointing. If I had spent 35 pounds on a full bottle I wouldn’t be happy. There is a cask strength limited edition for over 50 pounds out just now with a different label which unless it has older stock in it with more active casks I would avoid that as well. Its truly awful and quite a few other opinions exist online which align with my thoughts however not exclusively. What seems to be clear to me is this is a marmite dram with people like Scotch Test Dummies on Youtube liking this just as much as I hate it.