Big Peat 33 Year Old is the oldest release to date in this series from Douglas Laing. It is also interesting because it was finished in a combination of cognac and sherry casks.
Big Peat 33 yo 1985
(47,2%, Douglas Laing 2019, cognac + sherry finish, 1500 btl.)
Nose: reminds us of a gentle old Caol Ila. What else could it be, right? Plenty of soft menthol, cold ashes, hints of turpentine and paraffin. Whiffs of tarry ropes and wet rocks. Also nicely honeyed notes, sweet lemons and jammy plums. Vanilla cake and almond oil. Really elegant.
Mouth: certainly sharper but still rather impeccable. Starts on cold ashes, yellow apples and mentholated oak but there are great flashes of grapefruits and passion fruit acidity in the middle. Bittersweet oranges. Oak char and embering camp fire. Chlorophyll. Black pepper. A touch of carbolic soap. I would swear to find a bit of cognac-y punch as well.
Finish: long, leathery, slightly briny. Some drier resinous notes too.
Complex whisky with mellow peat and nice fruity notes. Very, very close to a single malt anyway. Available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.