Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky

Kamiki Blended Malt Whisky

Producer: Kamiki
Country: Japan
Age: No age statement
abv: 48%

Spirits are aged in oak. Whether it’s brandy, rum, bourbon or even wine, oak casks are the vessel of choice. And while that probably has more to do with the physical properties of oak than the flavours it imparts on the liquid, the fact is that the use of oak has become so ingrained that hardly anyone questions it anymore. Of course many regulations forbid the use of anything other than oak, leaving no room for alternatives. But in Japan, the rules around liquor production are not so strict. And this is where Kamiki comes in.

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Douglas Laing’s The Epicurean

Douglas Laing Epicurean 01Producer: Douglas Laing
Region: Lowland
Age: No age statement
abv: 46.2%

In 2009, Douglas Laing (an independent bottler from Glasgow) launched the Remarkable Regional Malts range, with the first release of the Big Peat. The concept is to take malt whisky from several distilleries and fuse these into a blended malt that is typical of a certain whisky producing region. Examples include Scallywag for Speyside and Timorous Beastie for the Highlands, but perhaps the best known example is the Big Peat from Islay. The Epicurean is the latest addition to the range, representing the Lowlands, and was launched in 2016.

The Remarkable Regional Malts are not blends in the traditional sense, as no grain whisky is used in their production. Instead, they are what would have previously been called a vatted malt, until the Scotch Whisky Association changed the rules in 2011. Although the Lowlands produce more whisky than any other region in Scotland, only a handful of malt distilleries remain. The vast majority of output comes from large, industrial grain distilleries, which form the heart of the blending industry that’s based in the Lowlands. Perhaps then it is only fitting to try to capture the true spirit of the Lowlands in a blend. Many of Douglas Laing’s whiskies have been nothing short of exceptional, so I’m very curious to see what The Epicurean has in store.

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