Kirsch Import is a German importer of spirits and in collaboration with Signatory Vintage from Pitlochry they launched the so-called Samurai series which (currently) consists of 6 releases, all single casks of malts that got a sherry butt finish. There is a Ben Nevis 2013, Caol Ila 2007, Craigellachie 2009, Glenlivet 2006, Glentauchers 2009, Royal Brackla 2008 and this Auchentoshan 2007. All relatively young, bottled in a beautiful bottle with a Japanese-looking label. That may explain why they are so friggin’ expensive. Finally. I couldn't let the Auchentoshan pass, so you see: it works. That color is not normal... mahogany and then some.
Oh, my, that's a very dirty nose! Chicken stock, maggi mix, soy sauce, tomato ketchup and old cognac. Fruit? Rotten banana maybe? No, this is so far over the top that the DNA of Auchentoshan has become totally unrecognizable. But otherwise it is also so umami and herbal that it becomes slightly unpleasant. Very hard to love it, I must confess.
A lot is made up for on the palate. Now I get chocolate, citrus fruit (blood orange and grapefruit), lychee, caramel, camphor and rosemary. Relatively strong dram, but with a nice sweet twist. What a relief. I was already afraid that this was going to be a monster, but it’s not too bad. Nevertheless, it is reminiscent of sweetened Worcestershire sauce.
The finish – which is quite long – evolves from sweet to salty.
Yes, our German friends love a dirty malt and this Auchentoshan certainly is that! But it could not completely convince. As the Toshan Man, I can be strict, right?