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I have been interested in picking up this bottle for quite some time as I had read many positive reviews of the bottling. It also represents a great value in Ontario @ Can$45, which is actually cheaper than Glenlivet and Glenfiddich 12! As for background on the product itself, make sure to check out Connosr’s own “Toshan Man” and his website at www.markdermul.be/toshanman/ . This excellent site also includes a link to the re-designed Auchentoshan website
I have shared this bottle with other novice and experienced whisky drinkers and all have enjoyed it. This dram was tasted in a copita glass, without hand warming or water added. Now on to the notes…
Nose: Toffee, butter, and most noticeably, caramel coated almonds. I also detected a slight hint of orange once or twice, though it does not provide a consistent presence.
Palate: The buttery sensation translates nicely from the nose to palate. The underlying orange sensation also make an infrequent appearance that, when apparent, provides a nice contrasting flavour to the general buttery/toffee/almond combination. A slight black licorice note is also detected fairly regularly. A mild peppermint note also appeared suddenly and briefly. I’m not sure what to make of this, as I have not noticed that note on a consistent basis with each sample. Please comment if you have noticed this or can provide a theory on it.
Finish: The licorice note detected on the palate carried through on the finish that I found to be of medium length and drying. It had a slightly harsh quality that detracted slightly from the experience.
Balance: There is a good transition of aromas and flavours between nose, palate, and finish. I found most flavours to be consistently present, without being in competition with one another.
Overall, a very nice dram that is an excellent value product that I find to be superior to the traditional Speyside gateway drams. It will have a continuous presence within my cabinet. I would particularly recommend this to people who are interested in getting into SMW’s, but have enjoyed sweeter liquers in the past such as amaretto and Grand Marnier.