Overall rating
86.18/100
votes
75
Whiskybase ID
WB134678
Category
Blended Malt
Bottler
Douglas Laing (DL)
Bottling serie
Remarkable Regional Malts
Bottled
2019
Stated Age
21 years old
Number of bottles
4200
Strength
46.8 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Barcode
5014218810929
Added on
10 jul 2019 3:08 am by peatbogger
UncoloredNon-chillfiltered

Average value

€ 98.18

25 × in wishlist

75 × member ratings

128 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Rock Island 21-year-old DL

23 users have left 24 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 86.18 points.

  1. rich_93 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    A genuine masterpiece of blending. This is not a strong first impression malt, you will want a large sample or a bottle to explore it - you’ll be rewarded with layers of complexity and balance. For less that 80 GBP a bottle, it is a winner.

    Takes a while to open up and get rid of the musty wood notes, after a month or so it starts to shine and sparkle.
    • Nose
      90 90
      Has a sense of transparency and shimmer. No out of place wood notes. A rich yet dry aroma, with a beautiful balance. Mineralic, chalky, saline. The peat is ashy, herbal and dry. Juicy vegetal green notes mixed with tangy tropical fruit. Mentholic nuances add complexity but never overwhelm. There is an oiliness, a signature of Jura, but it’s blended in so perfectly you just perceive it as extra ‘body’. Interestingly, on top of the mangos, papayas, lemons and limes I also get a currant nuance - there is the right type of dry tartness for that. Some buttery notes for extra heft. Waxy candied fruit and dry porridge oats.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Soft, bright, and juicy, with a perfect balance of sweet, sour and bitter. Buttery malt notes lead the palate, which makes the dry peat all the more enjoyable. Medium yet oily mouthfeel with fudge and butterscotch. A little bit of water adds volume and extends the development from sweet malt to bitter peat, finishing with sour citruses. Little nuances of tropical fruit pop out throughout the palate.
    • Finish
      90 90
      Long, lovely and fresh. Softly marine with a dry minerality. A lot of citrus, led by lime, with more savoury tropical fruit. Peat like the ashy embers of charcoal on a barbecue, with a gentle meaty association.

  2. JJonathan scored this whisky 88 points Member Junior

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      89 89

  3. coldsun scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Solid, quite complex, bold and rich.
    Whatever I add here... I can recommend this whisky cause it has nice value for its price.
    • Nose
      89 89
      Very deep and bold notes. Hints of peaty smoke, chocolate, sea salt, dried tropical fruits, caramel, honey, also with delicate notes of smoked meat, prunes and banana.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Fully echoes taste adding taste of roasted seeds and light sweet spicy elements.
    • Finish
      87 87
      Long and stable. Full of elements of smoked meat, roasted malt, chocolate and tropical fruits jam.

  4. malthead scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

  5. Spoerkel scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    The Islay part is already quite dominant. With concentrated tastes one can guess the Orkney aroma. But there is hardly any other way. The other two islands remain very "discreet".
    • Nose
      85 85
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      86 86

  6. dottoreHUN scored this whisky 86 points Member Junior

    Nose: Peaty but not so strong, light honey with caramell, some sherry sweet in the background, some liquor and seasalt absolutly.

    Taste: Peat and strong maritime seasalt in the foreground, background light sweetness and hidden sherry... spicyness, BUT NOT ALCOHOL spice, light/medium oily.

    Finish: long, peaty, spicy, salty.

    Love it! Well balanced! I am happy, that I've got 2 bottles from that line. :)
    • Nose
      83 83
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  7. jegerinho scored this whisky 86 points Member Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  8. Igor_Gudimov scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Nice mix of salty peat, fruits, and brine. Interesting, complex but hard to find
    • Nose
      90 90
      Salt, butterscotch, mineral maritime smoke, brine oysters, dried leaves, sour apple, light citrus (lemon or orange?), after first sip - orange is more pronounce
    • Taste
      88 88
      Sweet liquid honey, dry ash smoke, dried leaves, earthy truffle peat, and brine
    • Finish
      87 87
      Dry, long, dry ash smoke and fish fat aftertaste

  9. robbert88 scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

  10. coldsun scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Very deep and bold. Salty, peaty smoke, marine, honey, citruses (lemon, orange), oily with dry and slightly bitter cut. Like Rock Island 10 but much more boldy and oily with notes of gum and iodine (probably Ledaig present).

  11. topos did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    very successful blend, and bottled at the right strength. available at £85 or less, very good value. easy drinker.

    the impression is more ardbeg than anything, though it probably contains no ardbeg.
    • Nose
      rounded, smoky and fruity. lemon verbena, leaves, quite earthy, a little farmy too. brambles, cinnamon raisin buns, light carbolic soap but nothing offensive.
    • Taste
      soft arrival showing maturity, but still quite a bit of spark. bonfire smoke, spiced apple strudel, lavender, more lemon verbena and a little porridge. quite long smoky finish.

  12. WhiskyLovingPianist scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    https://whiskeylovingpianist.wordpress.com/2020/06/17/s-w-a-g-whats-in-your-cupboard-3/

    N: Salty complex-sweet-ish coastal lemon references with relaxed yet firmly farmland peated leanings, it’s cowpats near the beach all entwined within unobtrusive oak. I’m guessing Islay first up, perhaps a modern light dry Laphroaig > Caol Ila. Then again, Talisker might be a good shout. This has plenty of charm, and pancakes! “Port Charlotte”, says lewis which is also a good shout. It can’t be Ardbeg, Bunna, Bowmore, Laga?,…nope. With bits of everything, this is too unspecific for one distillery. Could this be Big Peat I ask?

    T: More salivating than the Ardmore and with significantly more age, so I’m guessing this has seen some fine refill maturation. Amazing, there’s a Port Ellen-esque on arrival with a mouthfeel to boot. It’s fleeting but it’s there, every time, with a watery-smoked lemon barley squidgy mouthfeel. Leads on nicely with all the bits playing their part, initially delectably ambrosia-sweet before turning sourer with a soft floaty-dryness later on.

    F: That’s kind of it then. Time then to enjoy the simmering cool down. Dry smoke lingers as dry smoke does.

    C: Revealed: previously known as Rock Oyster, this is an island blend. With a few fleeting moments of sheer brilliance including the closest fleeting reference to Port Ellen I’ve enjoyed [from a non-Port Ellen] for some time, this is highly recommended.

  13. gaboruso scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      86 86

  14. lviz scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Nose : surprisingly smoky. Usualy in the blends as the ages goes up the islay malt contet goes down but not here! Caol Ila hello!
    Plate : ok, some fruits, vanilla, maritime notes..not so smoky as you may expected from the nose. Finish : ash and vanilla. Nice whisky and has an excellent price / value ratio.

  15. GlasMost scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    Yes, plenty of ashy Coal Ila. Very nice simple blended malt for drinking. Doesn´t need water.
    I would not have guessed the 21y in a blind tasting. In comparison with "Compass Box: Flaming Heart" less sophisticated but also at 2/3 the price.

  16. lachaineduwhisky did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    Mineral and fragrant on the nose, slight touch of citrus little sweet, a little austere.
    In the mouth, chiseled and mature. Creamy and balanced. Unripe fruits.
    Small hazelnut finish.

    Enthusiasm
    Nose & Mouth 4/5
    Final 3/5

    Whiskey n ° 2156

  17. Dris scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      84 84
    • Finish
      88 88

  18. Stanzeflasche scored this whisky 86 points Expert Senior

    A nose typical of the islands, the tide, iodine, the beach at low tide, algae, kelp, and behind some plant elements, scrub, ferns, heather earth, light sherry and vanilla, light fruit in the mouth , it's gourmet, even pastry, but that doesn't hide the more austere and wild side, candied apricots, plum tart, chocolate pears. Finally some exotic fruits, banana, pineapple. The finish is good but nothing more, long just enough, oaky and lemony.

    https://ilikesky2020.blogspot.com/2020/11/rock-island-21-yo.html
    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      85 85
    • Finish
      85 85

  19. Balticsailor68 scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Great vatted malt, slightly peated and with maritim notes. Limited with 2000 wordwide.

  20. Totoro scored this whisky 81 points Connoisseur

    Way less intriguing than the 18-year-old, which had nice and clearly discernible Highland Park components. Despite the higher age statement, this one seems younger and more raw. It's also peatier, with the smoke dominating the other "maritime" aspects. It's not bad per se (probably plenty of Caol Ila in here), but there's no catch, nothing that stands out or holds your attention. It's simply very decent peated whisky.
    • Nose
      82 82
      Peat smoke, wet, pebbles and wool, camphor, myrrh, and a salty tang. No cask influence that I can detect.
    • Taste
      81 81
      Rather dry and un-fruity, with the aforementioned herbal aspects and the smokiness dominating. A bit sharp; the age doesn't really come through.
    • Finish
      80 80
      Unremarkable; could be any peated whisky.

  21. Georges scored this whisky 84 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      Smoky, vanilla, tarry, gooseberries, citrus, apricots, hay, mineral notes
    • Taste
      Fresh, sweet, fruity (apricots, oranges, citrus, pineapple), smoky, honey
    • Finish
      Medium long, smoky, fruity, salty

  22. thijs100 scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    While a good whisky, it didn't quite meet my expectations.
    • Nose
      Some charcoal, rock pools and salty sea spray, with hints of polished leather and sal ammoniac, but also a damp forest floor. Clearly some citrus fruits too, as well as candy canes and vanilla custard.
    • Taste
      A little less of a high flyer than the nose. Somewhat spicy (pepper), with a slightly sour and rubber-y note. Quite a bit of peat too, with a hint of iodine. At this age, I had hoped for something a little more elegant.
    • Finish
      Lingering peat and rubber.

  23. Whisky-Connaisseur did not rate this whisky Expert Senior

    A multi-layered, rich and lively blended malt embracing the character of Orkney, Arran, Jura and Islay. Deliciously maritime, sweet and spicy with a fruity and smoky core of lemon and peat. The 21 years give this dram depth and balance, combined with a powerful kick from Islay.

    I thank Douglas Laing for the complimentary sample.

    https://www.whisky-connaisseur.de/2019/07/30/rock-island-21yo-2019/
    • Nose
      Coastal smoke, crisp peat and a whiff of salt on the nose, accompanied by sweet vanilla and malted barley. Some citric fruits come through mixed with subtle orange peel and ginger spice. Slightly medicinal notes and a touch of tar in the back.
    • Taste
      Sweet vanilla and barley sugar mingle with lemon curd, peat and subtle smoke along with a warming spiciness of oak and pepper. Minerally with a maritime touch and a hint of ash towards the finish. Nicely mouthfilling.
    • Finish
      The finish is medium long, warm and malty with tender peat smoke, coal ash and a touch of cloves on the tail.

      With water: Quite fresh on the nose when a few drops of water are added. Sea air with vanilla and lemons, mixed with subtle peat smoke in the back. Less sweet. The delicate vanilla sweetness is still present on the palate, while the warmth is significantly tamed. Subtle notes of oak, ginger, nutmeg and cloves linger with hints of peat smoke towards the finish. The finish shows medium length with dry oak, cloves and gentle peat smoke.

  24. Implar scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    Excellent stuff. I love how the quality of the whisky noticeably improves as we go towards the older/more expensive stuff. That's not always the case these days.

    http://awhiskyjourney.com
    • Nose
      We get a much more pronounced peat here. Quite earthy again with also notes of moss, hay and grass. There's some ginger too. The seafood comes out more, mussels and clams. There's also a hint of dust, showing the age of the components. With time there's some more creamy vanilla notes.
    • Taste
      Earthy peatsmoke engulfs the palate. It's quite an engaging experience because of it. There's lemons and dark honey too. Also a nice flowery note (think Arran, not 80's Bowmore).
    • Finish
      The smoke remains and turns salty. Langoustines. A long finish with a drying mouthfeel.

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