Holy moley! These Douglas Laing bottles are coming in fast and furious! Break down door number twenty one on your 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar and you will reveal the Timorous Beastie Blended Malt Scotch.
Just two days ago, back on day 19, we tasted the Rock Island and previous to that back on day nine we had frolicked with the The Epicurean. Timorous Beastie marks our third Blended Malt from Douglas Laing’s the Remarkable Regional Malts of Scotland lineup. The Epicurean represented the Lowlands, the Rock Island the Islands, and now with Timorous Beastie we are in the Highlands of Scotland both in style and source.
On the label for this bottle, we are not given the portrait of the very picture of a gentleman accosted by his own mustache or a giant oyster laden with pearl, but the picture of an inquisitive rodent. The name Timorous Beastie is a reference to a poem by the Scottish Bard himself, Robert Burns, titled “To a Mouse” which he wrote in 1785. It was possibly written whilst Burns was looking around a room for ideas and there was no haggis to be found to which he could write an Ode to. Just kidding. “To a Mouse” is a often referenced Burns poem. John Steinbeck also used part of the verse for the the title of one of his more popular novels “Of Mice and Men”.
So what is the makeup the liquid inside the bottle of Timorous Beastie, you ask? Given the region that the bottle represents, there should be Highland Distilleries featured in this blend, right?
Right. This Beastie is composed of Single Malt Scotch sourced from distilleries’ Blair Athol, Dalmore, Glengoyne and Glen Garioch to create its prototypical Highland style. Of these four distilleries, Blair Athol is the one that you have likely seen around as a single malt the least. Most of what Blair Athol produces goes into Blended Scotch, predominately Bell’s. The other three are more easily found as Single Malts on shelves. The Timorous Beastie is matured entirely in ex-Bourbon casks.
Blended Malt Scotch and Blended Scotch in general seems to be under going either a resurgence or renaissance right now, depending on your point of view. Including Compass Box’s The Spice Tree and MacNair’s Lum Reek 12 Year Old, this is the fifth Blended Malt in the 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar so far. How will this Highland Blended Malt show against it cohorts and esteemed competition. Let us crack it open and see!
Bottled at 46.8%, the Timorous Beastie, named for the immortalized creature in Robert Burns’ famous poem “To a Mouse”, is a Blended Malt composed of Highland Malts, specifically: Blair Athol, Dalmore, Glen Garioch and Glengoyne.
“The original Timorous Beastie, immortalised in Robert Burns’ famous Scots poem “To a Mouse” was a timid, little field mouse. Echoing our national bard’s wit, ours is most certainly not for the fainthearted! Inside there’s a medley of vanilla, malted barley, meringue, honey and citrus flavours just bursting to be unleashed…”
Evan’s Tasting Note
Nose: Custard and white chocolate with a dash of salt, Dried banana chips, dehydrated apple, hibiscus, celery seeds, pink peppercorns plus some wet stones and slate.
Palate: Salty and creamy on the tongue with notes of crisp apple, gooseberry, buttercream, shortbread, spicy ginger, golden kiwis and fruit cup syrup.
Finish: Clean and crisp on the finish with only a bit of spice, salt, and creaminess on the fade.
Comment: Timorous Beastie is another solid entry from Douglas Laing and their Remarkable Regional Malts Line – for me this falls somewhere in-between the Epicurean’s full-on fruit salad notes and the Salty brine of Rock Island. It is tightly wound with some nice minerality.
That makes five Blended Malts with five distinct styles in the 2019 KWM Whisky Calendar. Will we see a sixth before the final door gets opened? Keep on sippin’ and we will find out together!
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