Maker: Douglas Laing & Co, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Distilleries: Isles of Arran, Jura, plus unidentified distillers from Orkney (Highland Park?) and Islay.
Style: Blended island (including Islay) malt.
Michigan state minimum: $60
Note: Not chill filtered, likely not colored either.
Appearance: Pale straw with thick sea legs.
Nose:Peat, alcohol, smoke, sherry, seaspray.
Palate: Medium bodied. Sweet butterscotch, then brine, peat smoke and burn.
Finish: Peat, buttercream, then burn. Lang lasting.
Parting words: 68 year old independent bottler and blender Douglas Laing & Co had a big hit a few years ago with their Big Peat blended Islay malt. They’ve now followed up with other regional blended malts. Rock Oyster is the Island edition, as one might guess from the name. Islay is usually considered its own region and not a part of the islands or Highlands but Islay whisky (-ies?) are included in the blend here. This isn’t Big Peat Jr, though. The smoky, peaty, Islay malt is balanced with sherry, bourbon and maritime aromas to great effect.
It’s hard to get a single malt this complex for $60 in these parts. There’s nothing I don’t love about Rock Oyster. Highly Recommended.