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Old Malt Cask and Provenance IB line

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Old Malt Cask and Provenance IB line

Postby Frodo » Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:05 pm

Can anyone give me some information on the Old Malt Cask and Provenance bottling lines? I've heard posters say something to the effect of "if it's Old Malt Cask, it must be good". Why is that? Does the bottling company "cherry pick" the casks they want, or do they age the stuff themselves? Is OLC synonymous with quality as far as opinions of posters are concerned?

I went to the OMC website, and found reference to the Provenance bottling line. I've had a couple of bottles from this line, and was really impressed. But what do they have to do with OLC? Is it the same company that bottles both lines? And if so, what goes into the decisions to bottle something as OMC vs Provenance?

The subtext here is that there are a couple of items on sale (20%) at the LCBO that I'm thinking of. The 13yr Dufftown finished in rum casks is one although paying C$115 for whisky with a bad reputation is not my thing. The rum finish is a tempting component though. Also there is a 15 yr Glenturret for C$105, but if I can get the 15yr OB for around C$65, why would I get this? Also there is a Provenance Manochmore (10-11 yr) for C$80 that I'm concerned is priced for the scarcity as opposed to the quality of the distillate.

Any thoughts/feedback/speculation would be most helpful.

Frodo
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Postby hpulley » Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:41 pm

Old Malt Cask bottlings are single cask. Provenance bottlings are not, though they claim to be 'small batch'. OMC is 50%, Prov is 43-46% or so. Both are bottled by Douglas Laing Co. which has their own warehouses where the stuff is aged. I've never had a bad bottle from either line but the OMCs are exceptional. They have a more expensive Platinum line that I've never had, all at cask strength.

Paraphrased from the pamphlet in the OMC bottles: They were originally just blenders (King of Scots and House of Peers) including some 25-30yo blends so they bought lots of stocks to ensure a constant supply of older malt components. The directors would sometimes drink the malts as singles. They enjoyed this so much they decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the company by releasing 50 single malts at 50% ABV out of their stocks in 1999. This was such a success that they've continued releasing them since.

Harry
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Postby BruceCrichton » Wed Dec 15, 2004 7:31 pm

David Stirk or Susywong will be able to tell you more as they work for Douglas Laing.

Douglas Laing Bottles are never chilfiltered and Provenance is usually 46% vol.

It's nearly always great whisky from them and even the not-so-great ones are vastly different from the distillery bottlings.
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Postby Rudy » Sun Dec 19, 2004 2:30 am

Hi Frodo,

I have the same experience as Harry and Bruce. All Provenance, OMC and Platinum Old & Rare bottlings I bought (6 bottles) were great and great value.

But bare in mind that especially OMC and Platinum are single cask bottlings. So if you come across say, a great Brora 29yo, it does not mean that a bottling of a Brora 30 is just as great. It is guaranteed to be different, because it is from another cask. Whether it is better or not compared to the other bottling largely depends on your taste.

To make choosing and getting acquainted more easily, they also offer mini's and 200 ml bottlings (at least in the Netherlands). You might consider these before investing loads of money.

Have fun,

Rudy.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Dec 19, 2004 3:57 am

Thanks Rudy. No such luck here regarding the 50ml and 200ml items.
Last edited by Frodo on Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Frodo » Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:14 am

I'd like to thank everyone who responded to this and the Dufftown thread regarding impressions of the Old Malt Cask series. I considered this feedback immesurably helpful in helping me decide what to do regarding LCBO's 20% off 13yr old Dufftown and 15yr old Glenturret (both OMC bottlings).

I decided to "trade up", bringing in a lot of OB's that I had bought recently, and using the credit to buy 2xGlenturret, and 1xDufftown. I've had 3 bottles of the Provenance line and if the OMC's are any better, then I'm probably in for a treat! I realize that the OMC are single barrel bottlings and therefore there is an inherant risk with getting a bottling from a bad cask. It sounds like this experiance among those of you who've posted a responce is quite minimal! This sounds like a worthwhile risk to take for what may be a really good bottle of hooch (relative to what I've had).

Dufftown hasn't gotten rave reviews, but a lot of you seem to have faith in the OMC series. The way it shakes out for me is that Dufftown is probably a rather austere malt with a little bit of nutty flavour. OMC probably finished it in rum casks to raise it's flavour profile.

Again I thank you all. If it wasn't for your postings, I would have missed the opportunity (not having tried an OMC bottling), and have been poorer for it!

Many heartfelt thanks (again)
Frodo
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Postby Admiral » Tue Dec 21, 2004 3:53 am

Frodo,

I don't want to undo the good work of the other contributors above, but there are one or two OMC bottlings out there that have been less than ideal.

This is not a criticism of OMC, because I don't think any independent bottler could claim to have bottled gold every single time.

But there was an OMC Talisker sherry cask bottling going around a year or so ago (bottled under the name "Tactical") that was so horribly sulphured, there was nothing left of the malt to enjoy.

That said, I've only tasted three OMC's, and the other two (a Laphroaig15yo and an Ardmore 21) were deadset winners, so I guess my success rate with OMC is 66.7%.

I don't think my post here should change your conclusion or approach, but I thought it might add some perspective.

Cheers,
Admiral
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Old Malt Cask & Provenance

Postby dstirk » Tue Dec 21, 2004 4:00 pm

:shock: Gosh, what glowing recommendations!

I understand what Admiral is saying. No independent bottler has ever got it right 100% of the time - although most of that is down to personal preference. Having never tasted the Tactical in question I can't argue with Admiral's tasting notes (which I am sure are quite accurate). It would not be the first time or the first independent bottler that bottled a bad version from the Skye distillery.

Incidentally for anyone who wishes to know the Provenance range is usually one cask (we have begun putting stickers on the boxes referring to the number of casks involved) bottled at 46%. The OMC range is always one cask at a time and bottled at 50% (unless it has fallen under this strength in which case the label has the correct strength). Neither range is coloured or chil filtered.

Anyway Frodo I hope you enjoy your whiskies. I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.

Regards,

David
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Postby Admiral » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:23 pm

David said,

I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.


David: I'm currently seeking employment in the whisky industry, and would be pleased to work as Douglas Laing's chief taster and note taker! :) What do you think? :wink:

Cheers,
Admiral
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Postby Frodo » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:23 pm

Admiral wrote:Frodo,

I don't want to undo the good work of the other contributors above, but there are one or two OMC bottlings out there that have been less than ideal.

But there was an OMC Talisker sherry cask bottling going around a year or so ago (bottled under the name "Tactical") that was so horribly sulphured, there was nothing left of the malt to enjoy.

I don't think my post here should change your conclusion or approach, but I thought it might add some perspective.

Cheers,
Admiral


Thanks Admiral. I recall your post under the Dufftown thread saying something to this effect. I agree there is always the risk of a less than stellar cask coming from a single cask bottling. There is also a chance of a wonderful bottling as well I would think. It would seem to depend on how comfortable you are taking a risk of this nature. Anyway, thanks for the heads-up!

Frodo
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Postby hpulley » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:29 pm

Admiral wrote:David said,

I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.


David: I'm currently seeking employment in the whisky industry, and would be pleased to work as Douglas Laing's chief taster and note taker! :) What do you think? :wink:

Cheers,
Admiral


Me too! I don't even need a salary. "Will work for scotch whisky." ;)

Harry
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Re: Old Malt Cask & Provenance

Postby Frodo » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:39 pm

dstirk wrote:I understand what Admiral is saying. No independent bottler has ever got it right 100% of the time - although most of that is down to personal preference.

Anyway Frodo I hope you enjoy your whiskies. I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.

Regards,

David


Mr Stirk: Interesting point about personal taste perhaps being mistaken for a bad cask. I've had a few Caol Ila's (including the Auld Reekie) that taste sulphered, and were wonderful at that!

Please forgive my suprise at your posting on this website. I'd like to extend my hearty respect for several quality bottling lines (OMC, Provenance, Platinum Series) that seem to have met with general approval from the whiskymag posters. I like what I've tried (3xProvenance), and will get the chance to try three more. Again, many thanks to you and your company for it's fine whiskies. {Frodo doffs his cap}

Frodo Baggins
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Postby Frodo » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:42 pm

hpulley wrote:
Admiral wrote:David said,

I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.


David: I'm currently seeking employment in the whisky industry, and would be pleased to work as Douglas Laing's chief taster and note taker! :) What do you think? :wink:

Cheers,
Admiral


Me too! I don't even need a salary. "Will work for scotch whisky." ;)

Harry


I think what's being recommended here is a Think-Tank yes?
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Postby hpulley » Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:45 pm

Frodo wrote:
hpulley wrote:
Admiral wrote:David said,

I can't say I can recall tasting either of them, but then there are so many whiskies aren't there.


David: I'm currently seeking employment in the whisky industry, and would be pleased to work as Douglas Laing's chief taster and note taker! :) What do you think? :wink:

Cheers,
Admiral


Me too! I don't even need a salary. "Will work for scotch whisky." ;)

Harry


I think what's being recommended here is a Think-Tank yes?


Sounds more like a drink-tank ;)

Harry
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:15 am

Jumping in late here.... The few OMC bottlings I've had have been splendid. My nitpicks are that the price seems rather high, compared to other IBs, and I don't really understand the decision to bottle at 50%, rather than cask strength.

I have an Old & Rare bottling of 28yo Brora that is crying out to me to be opened....
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:53 pm

I guess 50% allows them to stand out from the pack, as well as increase the yield from casks in terms of number of bottles able to be marketed.

It's also a compromise between 46% (that magical number that is required when not chill-filtering) and the actual cask strength that might be somewhere in the mid-fifties.

Cheers,
Admiral
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