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  • Gemma D.

Celebrating Milestones with Douglas Laing

In the realm of fine whiskies and gastronomic delights, some evenings stand out as unforgettable, leaving us yearning to experience them once more. Such was the case when we gathered at the Dublin House in Zwolle to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Douglas Laing and the 105th anniversary of de Monnik Dranken.

Dutch Dram Masters Old Particular Glenrothes

Let's start with a cocktail

A confluence of whisky enthusiasts, a historic independent bottler, and a unique venue set the stage for an extraordinary night of celebration. Upon stepping into the Dublin House, our journey began in the Peacock Bar atop the building. Here, we were greeted with a delectable first cocktail and introduced to our knowledgeable hosts, Dougal Barr and Valentijn Klop. These whiskey professionals would guide us through an evening of culinary excellence paired with some of the finest whiskies crafted by Douglas Laing.

75 years of pioneering

For three-quarters of a century, Douglas Laing has been at the forefront of the whisky industry. Established in 1948, this independent bottler upholds a commitment to traditional quality and authenticity while embracing innovation. Across three generations, the Laing family has dedicated themselves to conquering the global market with Scottish whiskies, with a particular focus on single cask bottlings—now a cornerstone of their portfolio, enjoyed worldwide.

The Evening's Lineup Unveiled

The evening unfolded with a series of delightful surprises, starting with an exquisite appetizer featuring apple and brie, complemented by Prosciutto ham and a 25-year-old Auchentoshan whisky. The sharpness of the whisky's herbal notes beautifully harmonized with the smoothness of the brie and apple, setting the tone for a night of culinary bliss.

Dutch Dram Masters and Steak Tartare

As a Steak Tartare aficionado, my delight knew no bounds when presented with the latest Dutch Dram Masters edition alongside an Old Particular 17-year-old Glenrothes Sherry-matured whisky. The anticipation of uncorking a sealed 18-year-old Coal Ila from last year's edition lingered, promising future shared experiences.

Ribeye Extravaganza

Our main course featured a succulent Ribeye steak accompanied by pumpkin puree and grilled vegetables, elevated by an Extra Old Particular Black Series Jura, 24 years old—exclusively bottled for the Dutch market. The intricate flavor profile of the steak, combined with the whisky, delivered a culinary masterpiece, further accentuated by its incorporation into the steak sauce.

Chocolate Baileys Cake and Port Ellen Elegance

Dessert was a journey into indulgence—a chocolate Baileys cake adorned with red fruit. However, the true climax emerged with the unveiling of a 40-year-old Port Ellen whisky, specially bottled for the 75th-anniversary celebration. The rich smokiness, slight ashiness, and delightful sweetness of this rare gem, paired with the Baileys cake, marked the pinnacle of the night.

Big Peat Christmas Editions

Big Peat Limited Christmas Editions

Before bidding adieu, we were treated to a final tasting—not one but two special Big Peat Limited Christmas Editions from 2021 and 2023. Tasting these side by side offered a unique opportunity to witness how flavor distinctions had evolved, concluding our night on a note of curiosity and satisfaction.

In the world of whisky connoisseurs, the celebration at Dublin House will linger in our memories—a testament to Douglas Laing's legacy, the art of whisky crafting, and the joyous camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts. Cheers to unforgettable evenings and the spirits that make them timeless.

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