In the second episode in our regional malts series from Douglas Laing we move on to the Highland Region. To see my review of the lowland blended malt you can find it at The Epicurean
The Timorous Beastie is a reference to a Robert Burns poem in which the poet writes a poem about a field mouse in his fields. The producer Douglas Laing is using the timid mouse in the poem as a juxtaposition against the highland malts. Perhaps with Robert Burns living and working in Ayrshire in the lowland region this is about a comparison in regions in Scotland. Or perhaps its just a fun name for a whisky with a made up marketing story.
Bottled at 46.8% ABV with a craft presentation this whisky is made from a recipe only using Highland malts. The label references this includes at least Glengoyne, Glen Garioch ( pronounced Glen Gay-ray) and Dalmore but doesn’t give a complete list. The bottle is opaque but the design of the bottle and label is pretty well done. It is widely available as an ongoing expression at around £35. There is a limited edition age stated 10 year old for a couple of pounds more as well which is still available just now.
Colour – yellow straw
Nose – quite a sharp acidic vinegar note with cardamom seeds. Wood herbs bring in some interest with notes of over proofed dough as the main body throughout.
Palate – white wine sharp fruitiness on the arrival with the acidic vinegar note being slightly mellowed. Freshly baked malted bread hints at the youth of the spirit.
Finish – The finish allows some spices from the oak and tannins to come into play. The finish is short but thick.
Making a representative highland whisky is a difficult thing because what is the USP of the highlands? The aim of this whisky is to showcase distilled barley based beer really with the grain flavours still very predominate in the flavour profile in the glass.
As someone who just cannot get into beer at all this doesn’t work for me. If you were someone who likes Glenfiddich IPA as a random example then you will probably like this one to.