Monday, April 20, 2020

Whisky Review: The Gauldrons Small Batch #1

Douglas Laing has been putting out a series of regional blended malts for a number of years now, which entry-level NAS releases and more limited (though generally affordable) limited age dated releases. With the release of The Gauldrons they have completed their range with a blended malt from Campbeltown.

This whisky was aged in what I presume were refill ex-bourbon casks, then bottled at 46.2% without coloring or chill filtration.

I purchased this sample from WhiskySite.

The Gauldrons Small Batch #1

Nose: lots of fresh malt with a green edge (reminds me a bit of younger Auchentoshan), dry hay, hints of Campbeltown funk in the background. After adding a few drops of water the aromas are more closed off, but a bit of peat comes out.

Taste: clean malt sweetness up front that carries through to the back with hints of unripe fruit and rum-my Campbeltown funk swirling around it, rose petals going into the finish. After dilution it remains largely the same, but the sweetness is thicker and there's some fresh hay at the back.

Finish: clean malt, fresh hay, roses, vague fruitiness, very mild peat

Given that this isn't particularly peated, my best guess is that this is largely Glen Scotia with a little Springbank. I have yet to see any IB Kilkerrans, so I have to assume that all of Glengyle's production has stayed in house. My only other theory would be an inadequate cask of Hazelburn that Springbank passed on because it reads almost more like a Lowland malt than something out of Campbeltown.

Much like the Timorous Beastie 10 Year I tried, this is pretty lackluster. While it somehow reads as less overtly youthful, I'm struggling to find much that's particularly Campbeltown about it. I managed to dig out a bit of funk, but there was no peat, nothing industrial, and no leather. While this isn't bad, per se, there's nothing here that makes me want more. While I could keep trying the Laing's series, nothing so far has really drawn me in so far.

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