Review No.235. Rock Oyster

The Rock Oyster is meant to represent the Island region of Scotland which covers Islands along the west coast such as Skye, Jura, Mull and Arran to name a few notable ones.  The name of this one has been changed to Rock Island because market research conducted for Douglas Laing showed that a fair amount of people are not keen on oysters.  The Islands is a bit of a tricky region to describe, you will find some malts with hints of sea salt and some heavily peated.  It is likely that the Rock Oyster contains malts from Talisker, Jura, Arran and Tobermory (Tobermory or Ledaig).


Whisky: Rock Oyster Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 46.8%

Nose: Iodine, rubber, sea salt, heather, earth, grapefruit, lemon, lavender

Taste: Malt, salt, lemon, heather, ginger spice, bitter grapefruit rind, earth

Finish: Malt, ash, oak, pepper spice

Score: 2

Summary: This doesn’t quite work for me.  I prefer fresh coastal malts or sherried peated malts.  This has that ashy peat to it along with medicinal peated flavours that I am not too keen on.  There are some nice notes of heather and grapefruit but the ash is too dominant for my liking.  I don’t think there is a definitive description for the Island style and the Rock Oyster has gone far too down the peated route rather than trying to strike a balance with notes from Arran, Jura and Tobermory.



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


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