This article explains the independent bottler Douglas Laing.

Overview and characteristics of Douglas Laing

Established in 1948, Douglas Laing is an independent blender and bottler that specializes in the production of artisanal small batch and single cask Scotch whisky.

They hand-select whisky from high-quality and rare stocks obtained within Scotland, and bottle it in a way that brings out the whisky’s potential in line with the distillery’s intentions. In addition to being non-colored and non-chill filtered, their motto is a high alcohol content.

Douglas Laing is also famous for its blended whisky, so let’s start by looking at the blended series.

Douglas Laing’s blended malt whisky “Remarkable Regional Malt”

When it comes to bottlers, single malts and single casks tend to be the focus of attention, but Douglas Laing is also famous for its lineup of blended malt whisky “Remarkable Regional Malt” (meaning: excellent malts limited to a certain region).

Its distinctive feature is that it produces blended malt whisky from each of the six major Scotch whisky producing regions. For example, the blended malt “Timorous Beasty” from the Highlands contains Blair Athol and Dalmore, while the blended malt “Rock Island” from the Islands contains Arran and Jura. The composition of the blend is not fully disclosed, but it uses single malts from the region. It is a blended malt that is 100% malt, as it does not use grain.

A lineup of blended “Remarkable Regional Malts” from each of the six major regions

[Lowland] The Epicurean

“Epicurean” means “a hedonist” and refers to someone who pursues pleasure. In the 1930s, there was a cheeky, gourmet old man in Glasgow who enjoyed various gourmet foods and drinks every night, a true epicurean. That’s why this whiskey was named Epicurean because it goes well with various ingredients and cocktails. The raw liquor is a blend of Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie, and has a citrus freshness, a sweet, grassy aroma, and a gentleness, which is typical of Lowland style. In addition to being drunk straight, it is also recommended for cocktails.

[Speyside] Scallywag

Scallywag means “cheerful and mischievous”. Douglas Laing’s dog (a fox terrier) was spoiled and mischievous, so he named this sweet and spicy Speyside whiskey Scallywag after the dog’s personality, and designed an illustration of a fox terrier on the label. It is mainly made of Speyside malt aged in Spanish sherry casks, and is a blend of Macallan, Glenrothes, and Mortlach. It has a characteristic taste of dark fruits, chocolate, spices, and vanilla.

[Islands] Rock Island

It was previously sold under the name Rock Oyster, but it was changed to Rock Island because it was thought that the name “oyster” was too much, or rather, it was found that many people actually dislike oysters. The label features a shellfish that is not sure whether it is an oyster or something else. It is a blend of malts from Islay, Arran, Jura, and Orkney, and has a complex taste that enhances the marine feel to the point of being called a festival of the sea, while also allowing you to enjoy the smokiness and sweetness of barley. By the way, Douglas Laing officially recommends eating shellfish with Rock Island as the best combination. If they are going to recommend shellfish after all, I think they should have kept the name Oyster.

[Highland] Timorous Beastie

Timorous Beastie means “a timid little animal.” The label features an illustration of a mouse, which is based on the theme of the poem “To a Mouse” by Scottish poet Robert Burns. Made with Blair Athol, Dalmore, Glengoyne, and Glen Garioch, it is a large, full-bodied whiskey with a rich, sweet taste, honey, vanilla, and oak barrel flavors. It is a contradiction to have a large, full-bodied taste despite being a “timid little animal,” but the answer to this contradiction is in Burns’ poem. In fact, the essence of Burns’ poem “To a Mouse” is that it is not clear whether the mouse or the human is happier, and there is no telling when the situation will be reversed, and it is about the size of the mouse (rats and humans are the same). Douglas Laing also said about Timorous Beasty, “Don’t be fooled by the name!”, so the name reflects Robert Burns’ wit.

[Islay] Big Peat

Big Peat was released as the first of the Remarkable Regional Malts. As the name suggests, it is a whiskey with a peaty flavor that is characteristic of Islay malt. The label depicts an old fisherman, but with a frown, a long beard, and hair blown by the Islay wind, he is a man who is somewhat concerned about hygiene.

The raw liquor is made from malt from Islay, and is a blend of the sweetness of Caol Ila, the perfect balance of Bowmore, the medicine and earthiness of Ardbeg, and the elegance of Port Ellen.

It is a whiskey that people often say they have seen but never tried, but when they try it, they say they like it, and that it has a good balance with a strong peaty flavor. If the man on the label had a more clean look, more people might buy it.

[Campbeltown] Goldron

This Goldron was the last to be released in the series. It is a whiskey that uses Campbeltown malt as its component malt, and is characterized by its sea breeze and sweet biscuit aroma and complex flavor. The malt has not been made public, but since there are only a limited number of distilleries in Campbeltown, many people believe that it is mainly Glen Scotia blended with Springbank.

The label features a spider web, which is known from an anecdote about King Robert I, who led Scotland to independence. The spider fails to make a web many times, but perseveres and finally completes it. Robert I sees this and returns to the battlefield, eventually winning the battle against the English army. The patience and hardship of making a spider web represents the patience of Campbeltown, once known as the “whisky capital,” and the lost spirit of the distillery.

That’s the overview of Remarkable Regional Malt.

Next, we’ll introduce Douglas Laing’s Single Cask Series.

Douglas Laing “Exceptional Single Cask”

Single casks are the best part of being a bottler. Douglas Laing has four types of single casks, the main difference being the alcohol content.

Extra Old Particular

Extra Old Particular, known for the “XOP” label, is a series of rare whiskeys that have been aged for a long time and bottled at single cask & natural cask strength. It is the most expensive series among Douglas Laing’s series. It is packaged in a luxurious wooden box and comes with a certificate and label with a serial number.

Old Particular

Old Particular is a high alcohol content series of single cask. According to Douglas Laing’s philosophy, whiskey is adjusted (diluted) to the appropriate alcohol content for the age of the whiskey, improving the aroma, mouthfeel, and taste profile. Basically, it is classified or adjusted as follows:

  • Natural cask strength
  • Whiskey aged for 19 years or more: 51.5%
  • Whiskey aged for 18 years or less: 48.4%

Premier Barrel

Premier Barrel is a single cask watered series, bottled at 46% abv. This Premier Barrel range features a stylish ceramic decanter bottle.


Provenance is a single cask watered range, bottled at 46% abv. The difference with Premier Barrel is the bottle design.

Douglas Laing “Specialist Whiskies”

Single malt whiskey, blended whiskey, and other whiskeys from Douglas Laing in simple terms.

King of Scots

King of Scots is a blended whisky that was produced in 1886 and has been loved for a long time. The original recipe is strictly protected by the Douglas Laing family.

Single Minded

A single malt series centered on Highland, Speyside, and Islay.

Double Barrel

A series that blends single malts from two distilleries with different characters. Regional blends such as Islay & Highland and Speyside & Lowland, and brand blends such as Bowmore & Craigellachie. Since grain is not mixed, it is a blended malt whisky rather than a blended whisky.

Private Stock

A limited whisky bottled directly from a small batch cask privately owned by the Douglas Laing family.


Strathearn is a single malt Scotch whisky produced at the Strathearn distillery, a craft distillery. This distillery began producing whisky in 2013, but was acquired by Douglas Laing in 2019 and became a subsidiary. As a result, Douglas Laing not only acquired the bottler business, but also the distillery business that produces its own whiskey.

Summary of Douglas Laing’s features

  • For a bottler, the blended malt series “Remarkable Regional Malt” is also famous.
  • Single casks are divided into series by alcohol content.
  • The price is not so high.
  • Non-chill filtered, non-colored
  • Owns Strathearn distillery

Douglas Laing is a bottler that meets a wide range of user needs, including blended malt and single cask series. Expectations are also high for the future of Strathearn distillery.

Link to bottler descriptions

Explanation of What Whisky Bottlers (independent bottlers) are