Old Particular is a series of bottlings from the independent bottler Douglas Laing. The spirit in this Clynelish cask, a refill hogshead, was distilled in April 1997 and bottled in May 2015. The cask provided 216 bottles, and at least some are available at Vinmonopolet. It has the reference DL10770.
Nose: Fruits and berries, gooseberry bush, green apples. With water the fruit intensifies.
Palate: Black pepper, a lot of sweetness, cask as well, somewhat musty oak, cinnamon.
Comments: Not a text-book Clynelish, but it’s complex and certainly very nice.
Tasted at Trondheim Whiskyfestival 2016.
Matured in a refill butt, bottled 2011, DL Ref 7431.
I’m expecting to find this too oaky, considering its age, so let’s see if that’s a self-fulfilling prophesy or not.
Nose: Vanilla and orange peel, malt and melon. With water oak and bitter, dark chocolate. After some time in the glass it develops more fruitiness and I am put in mind of Jucy Fruit chewing gum.
Palate: Tobacco smoke, oak, cinnamon bark. More bitter with water, still with a rather strange smokiness. The bitterness disappears after some time in the glass, but is replaced by something plastic-ish.
Comments: An odd thing. Not too oaky in the way I expected, at least, but still not entirely pleasant.
Thanks to StianT for the sample.
Distilled June 2000, bottled December 2011, matured in a refill hogshead, released in the Advance Sample range, DL ref 7983.
Nose: Malt, lemon, well-worn socks. With water the socks turn to flat, tepid lager. After a while it mercifully disappears and the whisky starts smelling like green apples and fruit trees.
Palate: Malt and white pepper, but mostly, well, congeners and a sickly sweetness. More pepper on the finish. Water brings out the oak, there is still malt and a lot of pepper.
Comments: Definitely best with water added. The first impression was that this was well-nigh undrinkable, but with water and a little time in the glass it’s quite all right. The pepper adds interest, but otherwise this is too bland to win any prizes.
Thanks to Geir Tore for the sample.
Distilled November 1995, bottled December 2013, from a refill hogshead.
Nose: Fruity, lemon, apple and peach, with an overlaying smokiness. With water the smoke is emphasised and the fresh fruit gives way to lemon and lemon peel.
Palate: Digestives with brown goat’s cheese. Smoke and dry oak. With water added I find dry honey, a bonfire-like smokiness and “Non-Stop” (a Norwegian sweet, similar to M&M’s, but with dark chocolate) on the finish.
Comments: Also a perfectly decent Highland Park, but of a completely different character than the 17 year old from the Old Malt Cask range. This is a little bit better, if only marginally.
Tasted at Oslo Whsikyfestival 2014.
From a sherry butt.
Nose: A lot of oak, clear sherry note, but dry sherry and oak rather than dried fruits, very little sweetness. With water I get dried cranberries, candied orange peel and milk chocolate, but it’s still on the dry side.
Palate: Dried cranberries and raisins, but also a lot of oaky dryness. Vanilla. With water I get both oaky bitterness and sherry sweetness, vanilla and oak chips, floor varnish.
Comments: Even though there’s not even a whiff of burnt rubber, my main impression is “over oaked”. It tastes of oak chips. The nose is beautiful, but can’t make up for the taste. It’s not a bad dram, but it’s no where near worth the asking price (2495 NOK at Vinmonopolet, I paid 200-something NOK for 2 cl at The Whisky Bar in Oslo).
20 years old, distilled October 1981, bottled January 2002, sherry butt, DL ref. 533.
Nose: Surprisingly fresh fruitiness, but also raisins, tobacco and oak.
Palate: Heavily sherried, dry oak. The more water I add, the more it tastes of dust (however contradictory that may seem). My thouhts go to old dunnage warehouses full of casks, to the corner where a small window lets in the sunlight, drying out the nearest cask and heating the dust up.
Comments: Somewhat too oaky, but otherwise one of the more interesting DUfftowns I’ve had (though that’s not necessarily saying much).