Whisky of the Week

Meandering the world, one whisky at a time

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Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie & Rock Oyster

Douglas Laing Twitter Tasting header

Today I am mixing things up a bit.  I am publishing tasting notes for 2 whiskies.  Both interesting and both from the independent bottler and blender Douglas Laing.  Douglas Laing is responsible for some of the more fascinating blends around.  Blends like Scallywag with the cute little terrier, Big Peat and Clan Denny.  Keep on reading, there is a VERY SPECIAL GIVEAWAY at the bottom of the post.

I just love the labeling on the bottles.  Douglas Laing moved away from standard bland classical labeling to wonderful expressive faces and pictures on their labels.  What makes this tastings so special is that I had the opportunity to share this tour of the Highlands and Islands with some wonderful blogging friends on Twitter.  Together we tasted both the  Timorous Beastie and Rock Oyster from Douglas Laing.

The friends included:

I wrote more about the company Douglas Laing HERE.  Quite a few of their expressions are now available in South Africa.  The Douglas Laing range includes The Epicurean, Timorous Beastie, Scallywag, Rock Oyster and Big Peat.  The releases are available via Norman Goodfellows and other well stocked liquor stores.

First up for tasting was …

Douglas LaingTimorous Beastie

Douglas Laing Twitter Tasting Timorous Beastie

Timorous Beastie is a Highland Blended Malt, featuring a timid little Field Mouse on the label.  It pays homage to Robert Burns’ famous Scots poem, ‘To a Mouse’. The Timorous Beastie is a blend of Highland single malts including whisky from Glen Garioch, Glengoyne, Dalmore and Blair Athol Distilleries.  It is bottled at 46.6%. Timorous Beastie is a non-chill filtered blended malt.  How endearing is the label done in black and white with the little field mouse just peeping through?

NOSE: Honey, fresh cut grass and herbs, fruits, grapes, apples, hints of oak, sherry and  liquorish.

PALATE:  Honey sweetness with crisp green Granny Smith apples, green peppers, fennel, oak with fresh cut grass and hints of oak.  Bits of malt. black pepper and smoke.  Rich and delicious.

FINISH: Sweet and rich with notes of oak, honey and malt.

The Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie is big and bold – this is no shrinking little field mouse.

Melissa asked me what food she can pair her Timorous Beastie with? Best will be a cheese board with some mature cheddar,  fruit chutney and fresh grapes.

Douglas Laing Rock Oyster

Douglas Laing Twitter Tasting Rock Oyster

Rock Oyster is blend of  Island malts, combining a selection of ‘maritime’ single malts distilled on Islay, Arran, Jura and Orkney. It was first released in 2015 and is a non-chill filtered vatted malt. The label is more reminiscent of the ocean, done with an oyster and a pearl in a blue and gold.  It is bottled at 46.8% ABV and non chill filtered.

NOSE: Burning driftwood, medicinal and salty, ash and brine with hints of fresh fruit.   Peat, smoke with herbal notes.  Like a fresh salty ocean.

PALATE: Peat, smoke hints of vanilla, caramel, honey, bits of pepper, with bits of saltines, medicinal notes and oak.   “Comforting and magestic “oldness””

FINISH: Like a soft sea breeze filled with salt and hints of adventure.  Sweet balanced with peatiness and bits of fresh fruit.

If you want to see more comments on this Twitter Tasting,  look for the #NGFTT on twitter.  We had a whole lot of fun.


NGFTT Douglas Laing Twitter tasting blog

Stand a chance to win 2 bottles of  Limited Edition Douglas Laing whisky!  The prize include the Rock Oyster 18 yo and the Timorous Beastie 18 yo.  Both Limited Editions made with whisky aged for at least 18 years.  Combined value is around R3000.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions

  • The prize of 2 bottles of Douglas Laing whisky will go to the first valid entry selected after the closing date.
  • Only Rafflecopter entries are eligible to win.
  • Entries will only be valid if ALL the defined steps are followed. 
  • The winner will be notified by email within 5 days of the competition closing date. 
  • The winner has 7 days to accept their prize, from date of email notification. 
  • Should the winner not respond within 7 days, another winner will be drawn.
  • Judges decision is final.
  • The prize is not transferable and can not be exchanged for cash.
  • By entering, you confirm that are you over 18 years old and a resident of South Africa.
  • Prize will be delivered to the winner by Norman Goodfellows.  It is the winners’ responsibility to ensure they have a valid delivery address. 


Boozy Dessert: Coconut Panna Cotta with Malibu Rum


Valentine’s Day Personalised


  1. Melissa Lee

    I would love to try the Timorous Beastie. The name is intriguing for a start and it sounds like it has a lot of levels.

  2. Riétte

    I think I would enjoy the Timorous Beastie more. Notes of oak, honey and malt in a whisky appeal to me. LOVE both the labels!!

  3. Leila Benhamida

    Will love to try the Timorous Beastie love the hint of liquorish added to it.

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      The Timorous Beastie is really interesting and complex. Good luck.

  4. Timourous Beastie for me any day 🙂 Good luck to everyone who entered!

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      I know you liked this one! 🙂 Good luck. Holding thumbs.

  5. Would love to try the Rock Oyster – BoozyFoodie thinks I would enjoy this one!

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      You will love the Rock Oyster. And the 18 yo Limited release is even better! Good luck.

  6. Gerhard Myburgh

    Sho 3 days feels like such a long wait. My mouth is already watering.

  7. Got to be the Timorous Beastie😊sounds like my beast to tame but I do love granny smith apples. Would be interesting to see if I can pick up on that. Holding thumbs now that I’ve entered.

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      The beastie is big and bold. You will love it. Good luck.

  8. Douglas Laing Rock Oyster. It sounds a bit wild and exotic and like a holiday 😉
    I am unable to click on the visited FB Pages on the Rafflecopter. I have visited and liked both pages. Do you have an idea what can be wrong?

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      Rock Oyster was my favourite. It is wild and exotic. Not sure what is wrong with Rafflecopter, but I will make sure it does not disqualify you.

  9. Gerhard Myburgh

    I would love to tase the Timorous Beastie first, just sound delicious with the fresh and smokey and oak taste notes. sound mount watering. And i only have a dram of whisky left.

  10. I definitely enjoyed the twitter tasting you hosted. I’m mixed emotions as to which I want to try the most. Is it wrong to judge a bottle by the label? The beast might be a first choice

  11. Most excited about the Douglas Rock Oyster

  12. Hardy Maritz

    Great giveaway.

    I just love island whiskies, so for me it has to be The Rock Oyster 18 YO. The tasting notes and descriptions from your twitter tasting confirm this too.

  13. Timorous Beastie… because I love that name… Beastie – so cool! 😁
    Also, “sweet and rich with notes of oak, honey and malt” – um, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a winner right there!

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      The Beastie does sound like a winner. Holding thumbs.

  14. The Rock Oyster sounds lovely. I have a fondness for Smokey whiskies 😍

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      Rock Oyster was my favourite. It was amazing. Good luck.

  15. I’m most excited to try Douglas LaingTimorous Beastie because I think Mel and I have similar tastes. I absolutely LOVE your descriptions <3 fingers crossed! My husband would love me forever #browniepoints

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      You will score big brownie points. Holding thumbs.

  16. Quinton Dos Santos

    I can’t wait to try the Rock Oyster 18 yo! I love peated whiskeys, and the notes of honey and pepper sound fantastic! 😉

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      I have tasted the 18 yo Rock Oyster and it is amazing. Good Luck!

  17. I think I’m more excited to try the Rock Oyster, because Jacqui has good taste! lol

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      She does have good taste and a very descriptive way of putting it! 🙂

  18. yolisa

    Most excited to try the Timourous Beast first because the label is too too cute and would look amazing on my Instagram feed. Yes I’m shallow like that!

    • Jeannette Wentzel

      Nothing wrong with that cute label! I love it too! Good luck.

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