Saturday, 27 November 2021 16:28

Hunter Laing Scarabus Islay Single Malt Whisky Featured

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From a secret Islay distillery is Scarabus, a single malt from Hunter Laing launched for Fèis Ìle 2019. Scarabus means ‘rocky place’ in Old Norse.

This review looks at the Scarabus Non Age Statement Single Malt Whisky from Hunter Laing.
Bottled at 46% ABV, it is both Non Chill Filtered (NCF) and Natural Colour.

It is widely available, however, at the time of reviewing it was showing as out of stock. Example prices  at the time of recording include:

Master of Malt £37.95

The Whisky Exchange £31.45

Royal Mile Whiskies £34.95

Giving an average price of £34.78

For its value score it achieves 86.96 out of 100. A decent value score considering its non age statement, however it is helped along by its natural presentation.

With regards to cask maturation, it is Unknown, they don't state anything around what casks are used, however, given the colour, nose and palate, we suspect that it is refill ex-bourbon American oak, but this is purely a guess.

On the nose, immediately you are getting the Islay presence of the peat smoke, if you weren't told this was an Islay, you may think this could be a Benromach or an Admore.
There is a sweet honey note which combined with citrus and sea spray salt gives more of a clue to it being an Islay and indeed its cask maturation. It ends with some lingering toffee. The peat smoke is not as intense as a typical heavy punching Islay.

On the palate, it sweet and sour, starting with dusty leather bound books and smoke offering up the sour and honey, citrus and brown sugar the sweet. Next up is some bitter oak followed by the peat which offers an earthy savoury note to the finish. The peat and smoke never gets too overwhelming or heavy. The alcohol at 46% doesn't comes across too hot, indeed it suggests that maybe this was is a 40% bottling.

This is a really lovely whisky, with a competitive average price of £34.78. Whilst this is an Islay, it isn't too intense and for our mind is a step up on your peat and smoke experience from some more lightly seated examples, as such we suggest this is more of an intermediate level whisky for peat and smoke.

We do recommend this whisky, we would buy a bottle and the fact that the bottle itself is good looking and unique makes the decision easier, the label is very attractive.

For an overall score we give this 86 out of 100. It really is a worthwhile bottle to try.

Additional Info

  • Country: Scotland
  • Region: Islay
  • Age Statement: Non Age Statement
  • Chill Filtered: Non Chill Filtered (NCF)
  • Colour Status: Natural Colour
  • ABV: 46%
  • Cask Strength: No
  • Colour: Pale Gold
  • Peated / Smoke: Peated
  • Cask Finish / Maturation: Unknown
  • Single Cask: No
  • Mash Bill: Barley
  • Bottle Sizes: 700ml
  • Bottler: Independent Bottling
  • Whisky Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Average Price (or RRP): £34.78
  • Value Score: 86.96
  • Our Score: 86
  • Ownership: Hunter Laing
  • Bottle Stopper: Natural Cork
  • Brand: Scarabus
  • Packaging: Tube
  • Category: Single Malt
  • Peat (ppm): undefined
Read 365 times Last modified on Monday, 29 November 2021 15:49

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