The next region on the Douglas Laing regional malts trail is Speyside which is the largest region in Scotland. To check out what DL’s interpretation of a typical Highland malt tastes like check out Timorous Beastie and for the lowland region you can see my thoughts at The Epicurean
The Scallywag bottling is all about the little Fox Terrier dog’s owned by the Laing family over the years. The dogs and this whisky are cheeky chappy things with character and class. That at least is the idea. What we do know is a typical Speyside whisky will make use of a lot of sherry casks and typically have notes of raisins, Christmas cake, oranges and chocolate.
Bottled at 46% this blended malt contains whisky from Morlach, Glenrothes and Macallan as well as others which don’t make it onto the label. There is no age statement like in all the core range regional malt series and as if you didn’t know already there is no artificial colour or filtering.
This release gives us some additional information about the recipe. It is made with sherry butts and ex-bourbon barrels with 40% of the recipe coming from first-fill ex-sherry butts. It is available widely for around the same price as all the other regional malts at £38
Colour – golden yellow
Nose – malty and yeasty notes are first out the gates. Then a touch of oak spice and vanilla extract. Finally some sherry influence from orange rinds and throat lozenges
Palate – The main influence on the palate is a peppery spicy hit. The heat is countered with some sweet notes
Finish – The finish is fairly long as these bottles go with linger oak spices of cinnamon and ginger.
To me there is more influence from bourbon barrels than sherry ones in this composition. Again like the first two regional malts we tried the spirit from the distilleries gets a prominent role in the flavour profile. What is becoming increasingly apparently as I make my way through this series is that each core bottle is very much an introduction both to the region and whisky generally. The flavours are easily accessible with nothing to scare or put off a newcomer to the scene. This absolutely has a market especially as the segment tries to move younger drinkers away from white spirits to shore up and gain market share going forward.
If I was name a single malt you might of heard of which is close to this I could say the Aberlour 10 which is again a speysider which has a lot of ex-bourbon influence.