Der Feinschmecker is a German (online) deli & gourmet shop that bottles spirits exclusively from time to time. No less than 10 single malts have already been bottled for them by the German bottler Malts of Scotland, the most recent in 2018 – a Linkwood from 1984. But of course my eye was caught by this Auchentoshan 2004, bottled in 2017. Just my luck: Der Feinschmecker does not ship to Belgium. Enter my German buddy Heiko who has plans to drop by. So he got the assignment to bring two bottles. And he did.
The first thing I noticed on the nose is a touch of rubber as if from a bicycle tire. Not a very good start, I’d say. Luckily that does not linger and gets followed by pleasant scents of apple fritters, sultanas, mokatine and cold coffee. Patience adds fig marmalade and candied sugar. The longer you leave it, the sweeter it becomes. It even turns a tad candy-like. So that your time to leave it to breathe.
It is sweet, but at the same time quite spicy on the palate. Cloves, cinnamon, pepper – they come first. While your saliva glands put out the fire, dark and sweet notes appear: plums, figs and sultanas. But the spiciness is just a tad too much to my taste, as if the alcohol is not perfectly integrated.
It’s a good thing that all of this settles down in the finish, giving him a silky soft character at the end, rehabilitating it somewhat.
With a price tag of 150 EUR, this is not a cheap Auchentoshan. Having said that, it’s it a sherry cask and bottled at cask strength. Fair deal, I’d say. I do wonder what happened with the rest of the cask though, as the German deli shop only has 90 bottles of this Lowlander. Thank you, Heiko.