I think the blended malt category is underrated. John Glaser and his team at Compass Box has done a lot to bring attention to the category by giving us blends that can compete with single malts when it comes to flavour and complexity. However, Compass Box blends are not cheap. This bring me onto Douglas Laing who are independents bottlers and blenders. If you explore their range you will find that their products are reasonably priced. Their Remarkable Regional Malts range can be considered as their core line up of blended malts and each bottle represents the regional profiles of Scotland. A great idea I think and ideal for beginners to get their bearings on whisky flavours.
Over this and the next 4 reviews I will be covering each of the 5 bottles within the range. First up is The Epicurean. This is meant to represent the flavours profile of the Lowlands.
Whisky: The Epicurean Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 46.2%
Nose: Grassy, barley sugar, lavender, lemon zest, metallic
Taste: Lemon and lime, malt, ginger biscuits, spice, chocolate
Finish: Long and dry, sour lemon and ginger spice
Summary: This is an austere and dry blend. Don’t be fooled by the floral, citric and grassy notes on the nose as it packs a punch at 46.2%. It is almost gin like on the nose. This is very lively at first and citric flavours tingles the taste buds but then as it develops you get some spice in the form of ginger kicking in. There is a hint of chocolate and malt too. The finish is very dry and the ginger spice lingers for a while. I normally see Lowland malts as being light and delicate (Glenkinchie, Auchentoshan & Daftmill) but The Epicurean is not quite that in my opinion. I prefer this flavour profile at a lower alcohol volume and with less spice, and sure I added water but it didn’t quite work for me. This is an interesting blend nonetheless and I am struggling to guess which malts are in this because it has something different to the malts I have tried from this region.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskeyexchange.com