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Glasgow-based Douglas Laing & Co Ltd is one of Scotland's most respected independent bottlers, tracing its origins to 1948, when the father of current directors Fred and Stewart Laing set up in business.

Big Peat, Islay Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (Scotland)
Laing's offer single malt bottlings in a variety of ranges, along with the King of Scots blend, but a relatively recent addition to the firm's line up is Big Peat, an Islay blended malt. It comprises whisky from Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and the long defunct Port Ellen distillery, and the label features a cartoon hairy Scotsman, portrayed in a wind-swept island landscape, with a white-washed Islay distillery in the background. He is, of course, Big Peat, but behind the jokey presentation there is a pretty serious whisky. Smoked haddock, butter and fresh cream, new leather, treacle toffee and spicy ozone notes on the nose. The three constituent malts merge well, with lots of Ardbeg citrus fruit, intense Laphroaig peat, and Port Ellenís chewy leather on the palate, plus plain chocolate and spicy ozone. Leaves the mouth with a coating of dry cocoa powder. Nutty and drying in the medium-length, peaty, mildly antiseptic and liquorice-tinged finish. 46.0% ABV, 70cl, £ 35.00, specialist merchants.

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