Two hundred. This whisky marks the two hundredth whisky reviewed on those electronic pages. And I’m feeling quite happy we (with Julien, with whom I created More Drams Less Drama, and Mac who contributed two reviews as a guest) have reached this humble milestone. Humble, sure, some fantastic writers I read every morning deliver 200 reviews a year and more, and of a high quality to top it all. This is a level acquired with talent and experience, and a level I hope to reach one day. But for now, it took us two and a half years to reach two hundred whiskies reviewed, that’s our small milestone, but we are happy to have reached it. Out of tiny acorns mighty oaks grow, as they say. And that mighty oak will become a beautiful cask to mature fantastic whisky, right? The casks that were used to make this Timorous Beastie 40-year-old were made from oak that came one day, long ago, from tiny acorns.
More Drams Less Drama is still a wee acorn in the forest of whisky blogs, but it is Julien’s and mine, there are many like it, but this one is ours. It allows us to bring our small contribution to our readers and friends, and if that helped someone choose to buy (or not to buy) a whisky, or helped get more out of one from our tasting notes, then our “job” is done. The little acorn is going to continue growing, and he might develop different branches. It’s not totally decided yet, but spirits other than whisky might be reviewed on those pages in the coming weeks, and I hope that you, dear reader, will be interested by that too. But for now, let’s move to the 200th whisky reviewed on More Drams!
Timorous Beastie 40-Year-Old Review
Timorous Beastie is one of the blended malts from Douglas Laing‘s Remarkable Regional Malts range. This range of blends covers the whisky regions from Scotland, with several expressions for each region. Timorous Beastie is the blended malt made from whiskies from the Highland region. The famous Big Peat is made using Islay malts, Scallywag comes from Speyside, The Epicurean from the Lowland, and Rock Oyster from the Islands. As I said, it’s a blended malt, meaning that it’s only made from single malts blended together. These malts come from Highland distilleries only: Glengoyne, Blair Athol, Dalmore and Glen Garioch. 1080 bottles of this 40-year-old blended malt were released, at cask strength, or should we say, at a batch strength of 54.7% ABV. They were bottled without chill filtration nor colouring. Unfortunately (for us), it’s sold out everywhere, and you’ll have to pay quite a premium on the secondary market to get one, at least £350. The RRP was around £200 / €250 at its release in 2016.
The nose starts quite fruity, tropical, with passion fruits, mango, pineapple, guava, but also more “local” fruits with apple, apricot… There’s also some very shy peaty note, would that be from the Glen Garioch? Oh and citrus notes too: lemon, orange peel, it seems the blended robbed a fruit merchant. Beeswax, honey, roasted and sliced almonds and mentholated notes. Very elegant nose.
The addition of a few drops of water provides a sweeter touch, with icing sugar, vanilla and dark berries.
Neat, it’s a fruit festival once again. Citrus, orange, pineapple, passion fruits, apricot, Granny Smith apple, pomelo, grapefruit… and spices with ginger, all spice, giving a kick but perfectly under control, with a creamy mouthfeel. Aniseed, menthol again, coffee beans.
With water, the sourness is slightly increased, it’s a wee bit more oaky too, as well as some dark chocolate (like 60-70% cocoa).
Mentholated dark chocolate, lemon juice, plum, slightly ashy and creamy at the same time on the tongue, quite long.
So, what do I think? That it’s a shame I didn’t buy a bottle when it was released. Sure, I was far to spend £200+ on a bottle at that time, but little did I know then. This is a festival of fruits both on the nose and the palate. The alcohol is well integrated with enough oomph but no excessive heat, the mouthfeel is creamy, and there are tons and tons of flavours and aromas for you to pick. But at RRP, and especially since there’s no grain in it (less costly than malt), it deserved the price. Would I pay £350 and more now on the secondary market? I don’t know. But that’s probably because I don’t like to pay more than RRP on the secondary market. I can accept a 10-15% increase above RRP at auction but I don’t like when it’s above that. Because if I’m honest, I’d probably be tempted to buy a bottle at that price if it was released now. I’d seriously consider it.