On Wednesday the 25th February it was planned for Thomas and me to join the #rockoyster twitter tasting organised by Douglas Laing and The Whisky Wire.

Sadly the package did not arrive in time to join at that moment. Work had me abroad next to that also and followed by the flue and much more I wont bore you with, I now find my self able to finally sitting down to go through the line up of this tasting, almost a month later #shame

But following the stream of comments made during the tasting I am looking forward very much to exploring this all! The tasting started with the Rock Oyster sample, then the Arran, Bunnahabhain, Highland Park and the Talisker sample.

Rock Oyster – 46,8%
The nose on this I find at the first sniff a bit fresh and salty. Some lemon, malt and combined with some Port Salut cheese note. I kept sniffing it and keep coming back to that one. Mhmm… ok. Lets have another sniff see if I can find something more in it? Keep thinking of something creamy and lots of lemon. The cheese stays combined with maybe a plate of fresh bread, salt and good olive oil. This has a fresh and salty character for sure! But there is a sweet layer with some fruit and herbs underneath, but I seem to have trouble accessing them a bit. 
Taking a sip gives me back the same flavour profile as on the nose, but with stronger some chili peppers, honey sweetness and heather flavours. It keeps its salty and citrus byte that gives it a certain freshness. Can imagine that this one goes very well with seafood for sure. The finish is I think of a good length, not too long and overpowering, but leaves you with just enough herbal and citrus freshness.

Like citrus thyme, heather and mint mixed into one, with a splash of lime over it. The creamy Port Salut stays from beginning to end also. And when mixing with a bit of water it gives me the expression that creamy side comes more to the front together with some honey sweet notes, figs, sultana, dried banana and apricots. But not much, the other, bit harsher, notes keep lying on top of this palate. Scoring me a good 7 out of 10.

Old Particular – Arran – 18YO – 48,4%
The honeyed fruit nose we know of Arran for sure on this one. Green apples mixed with red ones, vanilla, some dark chocolate, getting some different orchard fruits. Lovely creamy warm feel on the palate, with some lemon and red pepper sharpness coming through the sweet layer of orchard fruits. Some sultana and dried apricots coming through a bit. 
Dark chocolate in here also with some vanilla. A rich fruit cake sort of flavours with chocolate and maybe some caramel over it. Reminds me a bit of warm milk creaminess. It is balanced, and has a lovely nose and palate, goes very well for some relaxed dramming.

The finish is of a medium length and next to the orchard fruits I get some black current and raspberry flavours mixed in the vanilla/chocolate cake. Lovely. Scoring a good 7 out of 10 for me. Think if I had the chance to come back to this one with some more to explore I could get more out of this one. It did not show me all I got the feeling. 

Old Particular – Bunnahabhain – 17YO – 48,4%
On the nose I got some salty notes at first, then the seaweed, woodpolish, waxy and feel of a big bonfire came to mind. A sweet custard, black pepper, fruit, dark chocolate and some meaty and moorish notes.
On the palate there is black pepper, salt, bit meaty, heather honey, warm, creamy, dark chocolate, light nutty note and thick custard pudding with dark forrest fruit. Bonfire, seaweed and hard herbs like thyme and some grassy notes are mixed through that. 
On the finish, with a good length, I find sweetness, chocolate and raisin with a salty crisp bacon feel to it. Bit dry and too salty for my taste I find, like I have been eating a full plate of crisply backed bacon in one go. But still a very nice and complex dram. It feels balanced and with the right foods beside this one, I think you could have a great explosion of flavours. Giving it a 7,5 out of 10 for this quick taste. 

Old Particular – Highland Park – 18YO – 48,4%
Sweet and heather honey on the nose with a salty bit. But mostly fruit, sweetness, fudge, apricots, vanilla and chocolate mouse. There is a light wood fire note but mostly creamy and sweet. 
On the palate you can find the sweetness of the nose back very easily. There comes also to the front some harder moorish notes. I have trouble finding some depth in this one behind the layer of sweetness and heather. 
The finish is sweet and has a combination of the honey, vanilla and chocolate, and of medium length. I find this one to be hard to get to the bottom off.

I sense there is a fresh layer behind the sweetness, but my brain stops at red berries, cranberry and some lemon. Nice dram that it is, but just missing something in the depth of it, it is balanced and giving it for this quick taste an 7 out of 10. 

Provenance – Young & Feisty – Talisker – 46%
Looking at the young & feisty part you get that straight away on the nose for sure. Peat and citrus freshness mixed with heatery notes. There is some sweetness underneath the young notes.

On the palate I find some sweet fruit notes, grapes, citrus notes, flower honey and some caramel. There is a bit of dry peat note on the not so long finish. Some peat and earthy notes linger on and leave a bit citrus and liquerish note.

It is nice, but does not show much depth? Or maybe it is me after the expressions before that I just dont seem to pick up the notes. I find it not unpleasent, but a young peaty dram, and not rating it higher then 6,5 out of 10 at the moment. I get the feeling I am missing something in it? 

Thanks Douglas Laing and The Whisky Wire for letting us participate! Great to discover some more lovely expressions coming from Douglas Laing! You can find Thomas his notes on these here


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