Scotch By Nino Marchetti / September 18, 2014 Vatted malts, which leave out grain whisky from blends, come in all shapes and sizes, down from the Johnnie Walkers of the world to smaller independent bottlers. One such offering is a new vatted Highland expression from Douglas Laing & Co that’s named after a timid little field mouse of poetic fame. Douglas Laing’s Timorous Beastie is described as a small batch vatted release from “only the finest Highland Malts including – amongst others – Dalmore, Glengoyne and Glen Garioch.” It has no expressed age statement, and was bottled at 46.8% ABV. No artificial coloring or chill filtering was introduced either. This whisky completes something of a triad of regional malt offerings from Douglas Laing, joining Islay’s Big Peat and Speyside’s Scallywag. As for the name, the original Timorous Beastie was immortalized in Robert Burns’ famous Scots poem “To a Mouse.” As the bottler put it about this Scotch, “echoing our national bard’s wit, this Highland Malt is most certainly not for the fainthearted!” As for what this little mouse of a whisky tastes like, here is the info from Douglas Laing. Nose: Overridingly sweet initially – then warming to floral, light barley & spicy honey’d tones. Palate: Opens mellow in a spiced style – being mouthcoatingly fructiferous, sugary, gristy & raisin-fudge-y in style. Finish: Mellow yet sweet – detect a soft cough drop camphor / oaky hint plus milky cereals & late meringue.