Review: Timorous Beastie 21yo & 40yo

Timorous Beastie LogoTimorous Beastie: 21 Year Old and 40 Year Old

The good folks at Douglas Laing have had Timorous Beastie in their line up for a couple of years now… Have a read of my thoughts of the original here.

Timorous Beastie is a marriage of Highland Single Malts from Dalmore, Glengoyne, Glen Garioch and Blair Athol distilleries.

What’s new is that there’s now various other special editions in the lineup to enjoy! Sadly they sold pretty much as quickly as they were released, but no matter, let’s take a look at them anyway, and if you happen to find a bottle to buy somewhere then you’ll know what treats you have in store!

Let’s take a look at the new 21 year old, and the 40 year old…

Timorous Beastie 21 Year OldInfo: 21 Year Old Sherry Edition, 2718 bottles with no colouring, no chill-filtration, and a strength of 46.8% abv.
Colour: Rich golden, autumn hues, sherry influence is obvious.
Nose: A nice strong highland kick to the nose, there’s a touch of herbal and smoke hits, but it’s most definitely underlined by a rich and creamy sherry sweetness; red apples, sultanas and Birds custard.
Palate: Thick and oily on the palate, the red fruits and custard notes really come through along with the gentle and well aged malts. Yet there’s still a beefy highland style here with herbal, spicy and flinty notes.
Finish: The finish is medium in length, giving a warming, tingly sensation on your chest, along with well balanced fruits and spices, and only hints of tannin.
Thoughts: That’s a rather triumphant blended malt indeed, the Sherry influence clear, but balanced… I love it!
Available: Around £90 when released, now sold out. You may find it in auctions possibly. 5cl mini’s still in stock at Douglas Laing – £7.50.

Timorous Beastie 40 Year OldInfo: 40 Year Old, 1,080 bottles, bottled at a cask strength of 54.7% abv., with no colouring and no chill-filtration.
Colour: Golden, ripe straw.
Nose: The nose here is very much without the overt sweet Sherry influence of the above, instead we have a much more gently sweet yet savoury nose going on; herbal, flinty and spicy, but also older and more relaxed. There’s a gentle sweet floral note that creeps in here, which you often only get from older drams like this. There’s a sweet honey tone at the back bringing it all together.
Palate: You’re hard pressed to notice that this is such a high hitter with the alcohol volume, it’s really easy and gentle on your tongue, the mark of a well aged malt. There’s malty cereal notes, but there’s also plenty of well polished waxy old wood to give it some gravitas. Not too much wood there to ruin it mind you. To be frank it’s nearly Christmassy, which is quite some feat considering it’s not Sherried. Think spiced scented Christmas candles burning away.
Finish: As light as a feather, but still jam packed with flavour. If the palate was flavourful, then the finish explodes even more flavour that sticks around for ages and ages. There’s some real over ripe banana notes here which are fabulous. There’s a real firey smokeyness at the back which possibly comes from the casks but also maybe from the production techniques used 40 years ago; it’s likely the Glen Garioch element was somewhat peated for example.
Thoughts: It’s hard not to over enthuse about this dram, it’s an elegant old spirit that’s been lovingly blended and sold at an honest price… congratulations to Douglas Laing who go to prove that great drams at great prices do still exist if you look hard enough. My only regret? I’m a dafty for not buying a bottle and missing out.
Available: Around £200 when released, now sold out. You might find it in auctions.

Thanks to Douglas Laing for the samples!

Comments or questions? Why not come and find me on twitter @steveprentice.


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