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Epicurean: a person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.
The Epicurean is the lowland representative in Douglas Laing’s ‘Remarkable Regional Malts’ range – a series of blended malts that showcase the traditional style of the whisky regions (see previous reviews of Rock Oyster, Big Peat and The Gauldrons).
The Lowlands were once a thriving hub of whisky activity but a dramatic decline left just two malt distilleries still in operation… Auchentoshan in Glasgow and Glenkinchie in Edinburgh. Fortunately however, the future looks a little more promising with several new (and returning) distilleries currently in the pipeline…
Wm Grant & Sons are producing malt whisky at Ailsa Bay, Bladnoch has resumed production in Dumfries, there’s Annandale, the Borders distillery in Hawick and plans by R&B Distillers to build at Peebles. The Glasgow Distillery and The Clydeside are both in production while two more are planned for the capital. Then there’s the Kingdom of Fife which is experiencing something of a mini-boom in and of itself with Eden Mill, Kingsbarns, Daftmill and Lindores Abbey all in production. While there is an element of concern that so many new distilleries could find it hard to survive in the long term, it is impossible to deny that this is an exciting time in the lowlands.
Of course, few of these new malts have come to market as yet, so in the meantime, the Epicurean offers a perfect opportunity to sample what the lowlands has to offer and all for the very reasonable price of £35.00.
Smell: Malty, Grassy and Herbal on the nose with Butter, Vanilla, and Lemon.
Taste: There’s a little Peppery heat from the spirit that settles with a couple of drops of water allowing notes of Vanilla, Cream and Lemon to come through – along with those Herbal notes again.
Value for Money: The whole Remarkable Regional Malts range is great value for money in my opinion and this one is no different.
Score: 43 / 50.
The Epicurean hasn’t been as warmly received as some of the other releases in the series it seems, but I have to say I’m rather enjoying it. Perhaps because it offers something that there is not an abundance of on the market today – naturally presented, un chill-filtered lowland malt whisky.