A Spectacular Blended Malt That’s More than the Sum of its Parts
Douglas Laing’s “The Gauldrons” Batch #1 Limited Edition Campbeltown Blended Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($59.99)
“The Remarkable Regional Malts series from Douglas Laing remains one of Scotland’s best kept secrets.”—David Othenin-Girard, KL SoCal Spirits Buyer
If you’ve yet to try a bottling from Douglas Laing’s Regional Malt series, you’ll serve yourself well by picking up their memorable “The Gauldrons” Batch #1. This blended malt whisky joins the best from Campbeltown and to excellent effect. As our NorCal spirits buyer, Andrew Whiteley, notes, it is “an incredible array of sea salt, sweet malt, light peat, and a pinch of grass all in a supple and medium rich texture.” Essentially, it is everything one could look for in a classic Campbeltown malt. With a splash of water, this dram opens up, revealing its full character and becoming supremely quaffable in the process. We’ve secured a very sharp price, which means you can add this satisfying malt to your bar without taking a big bite out of your booze budget. Our allocation is limited, and with our special pricing, it won’t be long for the shelves. Don’t miss out on this exceptional, under-the-radar find.
Gauldrons means “Bay of Storms”, and according to the bottler, this Scotch evokes “the ghosts of the long lost distilleries that once proudly proclaimed Campbeltown Scotland’s Whisky capital. The Gauldrons is a marriage of the finest Campbeltown Malts, bottled in tiny batches at 46.2% ABV, and proudly produced without coloring or chill-filtration. On the nose, one detects a dry saltiness with sweet cereal and a late hint of gentle peat smoke. The palate is initially dry (beachy and maritime) warming to crunched sugar, barley, and oak. The warmingly spiced finish brings puffs of smoke and rock pools with a dark sugar sweetness.
David Othenin-Girard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2019
The Remarkable Regional Malts series from Douglas Laing remains one of Scotland’s best kept secrets. This ultra-high quality single malt is blended expertly from some of the country’s finest stocks. The result is some of the most seamless and affordable malt whiskies on the market today, but no one stateside seems to have noticed. We continue to get amazing pricing on some of their limited releases, and this is one that is exclusive to KL in California. The nose has a purity of malt that is rare these days. Salty, zesty barley, bright stone fruit, cookie dough, tiny hints of smoldering oak, and barrel spice. Bright, linear, refreshing and ultra clean on the palate, this is somehow quintessentially Campbeltown in a way that none of the actual Single Malts of the region capture as well. There’s none of the Scotia funk or the Springbank peat—instead, just this wonderful tension of fruit, malt, and oak. Bold and linear, without a drop of water, but once added it becomes dangerously quaffable. Be sure to grab it while you can, as no telling if we’ll ever get more and certainly never again at this price.
Andrew Whiteley | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2019
Douglas Laing is killing it with their regional malt blends. The Campbeltown is the newest in the lineup and instantly became my favorite. While only three distilleries are in operation in Cambeltown today, you can bet that the majority of this blend comes from Springbank, Glengyle (Kilkerran) or Glen Scotia—there may be some of Cambeltown’s long lost distilleries kicking in it too. The result, regardless of who makes up the blend, is an incredible array of sea salt, sweet malt, light peat, and a pinch of grass—all in a supple and medium rich texture. It’s pretty much the perfect essence of what was once the whisky capital of Scotland and at an extremely affordable price. Gauldrons is a great dram to make a staple of your home bar.
Stefanie Juelsgaard | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 30, 2019
This particular bottling really inspired me as an ode to what an amazing region Campbeltown is. A “Blended Malt”, the whisky components in this bottle come from the three Campbeltown distilleries. Once nearly declassified for having so few distilleries, Campbeltown represents a very unique area of Scotland and its whiskys taste like none other. The sweet, smooth body, light iodine and saline notes, accompanied by just a touch of peat smoke is something special. I’m proud of Douglas Laing for showcasing this beautiful spot.
Will Blakely | KL Staff Member | Review Date: July 25, 2019
If anyone is curious about what separates Campbeltown malt from the rest of the mainland or its counterparts on Islay, I would show them the Gauldrons. The welcoming smell of barley fields kissed by sea air is enough of a selling point for this region’s extraordinary whiskies in and of itself. Beyond that, honey-coated golden apple lights up the palate followed by delicious dark chocolate. Crunchy cereal and pleasant wood smoke linger, finishing with just a hint of meaty umami. There is definitely some older whisky in the blend, giving it a touch more weight and texture than Springbank’s 10 year release. Whether new to Campbeltown or just looking for a new everyday, this is a great choice.
Jeffrey Jones | KL Staff Member | Review Date: June 13, 2019
Another great blend of single malts from the people at Douglas Laing. When master blenders like the Laings combine different single malts, it brings out the best and most interesting flavors that the single malts have to offer. The Gauldrons is a very successful example of this. The nose is interesting and mysterious, with sweet notes and a hint of salt. In the mouth it is creamy, oily, and complex with a sweet finish that has light smoke notes.