Douglas Laing Rock Oyster Cask Strength & some D.Laing news

I tasted the original Rock Oyster way back in 2015, and quite liked it (score 85, if I recall). Soon after a cask strength version ensued , adding some more Oomph to this blend of Island single malts, and I am not sure why I did not review that expression sooner, as I’ve certainly tasted this version quite some time ago on several occasions. If you’re not familiar with the Rock Oyster family, this one is a blended malt containing whiskies from the scottish  islands : including those distilled on Islay, Arran, Orkney and Jura.

If we’re talking D.Laing, this is a good occasion to mention some lovely news coming from the D.Laing HQ at Glasgow : A new £10.7 million urban Whisky distillery and bottling complex is to be built on the banks of the River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow. The development at Pacific Quay, one of Glasgow’s most high profile waterfront sites, will also see the launch of their new Govan-based Malt Whisky, celebrating the connection between the firm and the site of its new distillery which will also house a corporate head office, a visitor centre, a whisky laboratory and archive, bar and bistro.

The new venture will enable the firm to focus on developing its highly successful global export trade – already selling to 50-plus countries worldwide. Plans and contacts are in place to further open up and expand into the emerging and huge Chinese market. The new distillery Malt will allow further and deeper growth into existing markets including the USA, on the back of existing vibrant operations in Germany, France, Japan and Taiwan  and the UK domestic market.

Beyond private family money, the Scottish Government is part-grant funding the innovative development by Douglas Laing, which will create up to 38 new jobs and will see the existing Douglas Laing workforce almost treble from 22 to 60.

The company is to receive £855,000 through the Food Processing Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) grant scheme, a £70 million funding programme for the food and drink business across Scotland which was launched in 2015. The grant will assist with the capital costs of distillery equipment and plant. The FPMC scheme is aimed at supporting such costs of businesses involved in the processing of primary agricultural produce to develop new and existing facilities.

Good luck to DL, with this ambitious project, and now let’s taste some whisky, shall we?

Rock Oyster Cask Strength ,  57.4% , £46

Nose: This smells quite coastal, which does not come as a big surprise, right? seaspray, peat, tar, and pepper, with sweeter maltier notes below, some citrus zest, and a hint of tobacco leaf.

Palate: More earthy peat up front, certainly bigger than the peat on the nose, sea spray, seaweed , wood, pepper and soot, hints of salty caramel, lemon zest, and vanilla. I have tasted this previously and it seemed younger, yet this time round , it does not suffer from too much youthful notes, which is nice.

Finish: smoke, sea-spray, brine and bitter sweet wood.

A nice smokey / peaty / coastal profile, at a nice strength, price is not bad too. Not too young, and quite enjoyable. I guess some batches are nicer than others, this is a good one.

Score: 85/100


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