Studies into the suitability of a novel, widely tunable telecom L-band (15631613 nm) digital supermode distributed Bragg reflector (DS-DBR) laser for spectroscopy in the mid-IR are presented. Light from the DS-DBR laser was mixed with 1064 nm radiation in a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) crystal to generate mid-IR light by quasi phase matching difference frequency generation (QPM-DFG). The resultant continuous wave radiation covered the range 30003200 cm?1 with powers of up to 2.6 ?W. The use of such laser light for spectroscopic applications was illustrated by performing absorption experiments on both narrow-band and broad-band absorbers, namely methane (CH4) and methanethiol (CH3SH). Wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) on CH4 demonstrated that the modulation characteristics of the DS-DBR laser observed in the near-IR were transposed to the mid-IR and yielded a sensitivity of 3.1×10?6 cm?1Hz?1/2 over a 47 cm path length. In the CH3SH spectrum, the absorption feature at 3040 cm?1 was identified as a potential useful region for monitoring this biomarker in exhaled breath at reduced pressures.