Douglas Laing Provenance Range

It’s been great getting to know Douglas Laing a bit better this week.  And following Wednesday night’s Tweet Tasting, here’s my thoughts on the revamped Provenance range.

Macduff 8 Year Old 46%
Macduff is one of those few whiskies I’ve never had the chance to taste before.  It had a lot of malt and oats on the nose, sat alongside sharp and tart fruity flavours.  There was also a slight hint of new make spirit about it, potentially due to its young age.  The palate was spicier than I expected and much thicker too.  It still had the sharp citrus flavours though, with some sweetness to boot.

Mortlach 8 Year Old 46%
A whisky close to my heart, I’ve never tasted one of the numerous independent bottlings of it, so I was looking forward to this one.  The flavours present though were quite surprising.  I got a big dump of lemony furniture polish on the nose to begin, with lots of wet grass and earth deeper down.  The palate proved smother than expected – very fresh and crisp.  Again though, wet grass was an overriding presence.  Plenty of red fruits, especially crunchy apples, to balance off the palate though.

Benrinnes 11 Year Old 46%
The oldest dram of the night came from the often overlooked Benrinnes distillery, which Diageo is guilty of keeping tucked away.  Again, another very earthy dram which reminded me of the great outdoors.  It really came to life on the palate though, bringing to mind a bowl of barley sugar boiled sweets, with an added touch of soft ginger.

Bunnahabhain 8 Year Old 46%
Over to Islay for our second to last dram – Bunnahabhain.  On first nosing this one, I was hit by an intense burst of caramel – a bit like a half melted Cadbury Caramel, to be exact – with loads of orange too.  After leaving it a while, meatiness also came to the fore.  The palate confirmed the dram as my favourite of the night, with very little smoke but a zesty, sweetness to it – a bit like a lemon tart.  And a touch of salt to finish.

Glenallachie 7 Year Old 46%
And finally, another of those whiskies I’ve not much experience with – Glenallachie.  This was the only sherried malt of the night, which was evident from the nose – it was a very thick, meaty, dram, with lots of spice balance off by flavour of dark chocolate and crystallised ginger.  The sherry then gave the palate lots of rich fruit – orange and pomegranate – along with honeycomb, syrup and more dark chocolate.

A great range from one of Scotland’s leading independent bottlers and I’d urge you to seek out some of their bottlings next time you’re out and about.