As far as I know, this is the first time ever that Auchentoshan offers a Californian Red Wine Cask as the distillery exclusive. I know that my beloved Lowlander has something of a love affair with red wine casks, but those were always from Bordeaux. Hence, I am quite curious as to what this cask from the States has done with the triple distilled spirit of Auchentoshan.
Wonderful nose! A truckload of red fruit and autumn leaves, but without any trace of cheese, which I have had in some Bordeaux casks before. Honey, raisins, chocolate, cherries, raspberries, strawberries… the works. What a wonderfully fruit and sneakily candy-like Auchentoshan indeed.
The ABV is not for the faint hearted, but still is eminently quaffable. It is candy-like sweet with a spicy edge from pepper and cloves. Sturdy fellow, but with a playful character. Not astringent in the least, not a trace of oak too many, this is just very good and balanced.
The finish is very long, spicy and sweet.
The sweet tooth among us are going to love this. Feel free to serve it with soft cheese or – I kid you not – a strawberry pie. Or – and this may sound like blasphemy – use it in a cocktail. Really, make an Old Fashioned with this! You’ll thank me later.