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Auchentoshan 12 Year Old

I Blame Systemdown And Markjedi!

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

16th May 2012


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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So I'd heard about Auchentoshan for months now, especially reading Markjedi's reviews and facebook posts. It interested me, but I never got around to buying a bottle because something else always had my eye. I couldn't try it in a bar because I could never find it in one. I'd wanted to try a Lowland whisky for ages though and was starting to feel very very frustrated.

At the same time I've been planning to send some whisky samples to my friend and fellow Connosr member, Systemdown, as he had the good idea that exchanging samples would be a good way to experience more whiskies for much cheaper.

So when I emailed him saying I was going to buy some sample bottles and drink them, then refill them with the whiskies for him to sample. He then promptly replied back asking if I was buying the Auchentoshan sample box from Dan Murphy's that he'd just seen.

I was flabbergasted! I'd only seen the usual Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, Jim Beam samples at Dan Murphy's. So I promptly pulled up Dan Murphy's online and found that sample box. There were just a few left locally and they were quite a drive away so I ordered a set and sat down to wait.

Three days later the sample arrived along with a very chatty mailman who informed me that I was very lucky to be married to an asian wife and then proceeded to tell me why I was so lucky to be married to one.


Especially when I find out that he's talked to my wife and told her that she should have married an asian man and why hasn't she had babies yet?!

I find this out as we're discussing the Auchentoshan sample box and it's arrival...Again CREEPY!!

As dinner approaches I crack open one of the bottles, the sample case consists of the 12 yr old, 18 yr old and the Three Wood.) So I crack open the 12 yr old and pour it into my glencairn.

I start to nose the glencairn as we get dinner ready and the strongest odor coming through it is cut grass, but I continue to nose the whisky as we sit down to eat and slowly some other aromas appear. I start to find some apples, a little bit of caramel and a hint of pears. In the background there is just the slightest appearance of lime, but it disappears very quickly.

I taste the whisky and I taste cut grass, as does my wife, along with oak. It's different, but not unpleasant. Following and hidden by the cut grass is some of that caramel and a hint of the pear, quickly swallowed by the grass once more. It's not unpleasant, but it feels very weak and watery at 40% ABV.

The finish is of average length, with the oak and grass dominating.

This is a entry level malt sitting at around $70 AUS and it decent value for money. It is a little more complex then Glenlivet 12 yr old which I call the Apple Juice Malt, but the lower ABV hurts the flavor profile so I hate to say it but I dub this "The Grass Juice Malt"

I'd be interested in trying this one again and seeing if I get the same results at a bar or in a full sized bottle.

Related Auchentoshan reviews


markjedi1 commented

That is creepy :-) LOL. But may I suggest next time you try it, try it without cooking dinner in the background. There is no stronger aroma killer (bar cigar smoke) to kill aromas than cooking dinner while sampling whisky. Remember that Auchentoshan is triple distilled, hence a very delicate spirit and light bodied, aperitif style whisky.

8 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

That is a very good suggestion my friend. The nose wasn't awful and was quite interesting and I felt that I might be missing a good deal. It's definitily a whisky I'll try again. The 18yr old which I had last night and will be reviewing tomorrow morning was a very nice whisky IMO. Amusingly enough my wife thought the 12 yr old was the better one while I felt the 18yo was the superior one.

We're trying the Three Wood tonight which I'm very much looking forward to, especially after the day I just had. An awesome whisky to suck me into it's world is just the thing I need!

8 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

The 'Tosh is with us 'SquidgyAsh', thanks to 'markjedi(master)1'! :) I can account for three bottles of the 12 and a bottle of Valinch that have been sold indirectly to, or by, me as a result of the enthusiastic response by The Toshan Man (at this point, he really should be a paid staff member of the distillery).

I really enjoy the 12 (sadly my original bottle is on its last dram, though it will be replaced by a bottle of the Valinch). 'WhiskyJoe' and I both found that the flavours and aromas of our bottles of the 12 filled out and melded together better, the longer the bottle was open. The magic seems to happen in the 8 month range (though it might be faster for you if you don't have air conditioning at your house in Australia...the warmer weather may affect the 'open bottle aging' process). If your wife liked the 12 in sample format, she will likely love the bottle once it has been open for a while.

Great review and write up (so sorry to hear about the perverted postman)!

8 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Hahaha Thanks Pudge72! I do agree that the Tosh is with us :D I'm quite interested in the Valinch. I'll have to pick up a full bottle of the 12 yr old sometime in the future and try oxidizing it, maybe come back and rereview it. :D It was yummy, but I was hoping for a little bit more.

Yeah the perverted postman had me blinking once my wife was telling me about the conversations he'd had with her.

8 years ago 0

FMichael commented

Good review, and honestly I feel the same about the "Toshan 12"...Personally I feel this single malt is a bit of letdown; everything from the nose thru the palate, and finish is nothing to be desired; just an odd combination of sweetness, and grassy bitterness...I wish I would've had the "mini" of this to try before I plunked down my $$$...And to think I could've bought myself another 750ml bottle of Highland Park 12 yr for $5 cheaper...In the words of Homer J Simpson - "D'Oh"!

7 years ago 0

Pudge72 commented

@SquidgyAsh...add two more bottles of Valinch (by 'WhiskyJoe' after trying a dram from my bottle that we cracked open almost two months ago) to the direct purchases of Auchentoshan that stem from 'markjedi's' enthusiastic recommendations!

7 years ago 0

markjedi1 commented

Way to go, Pudge72! :) I'll go claim my commission with the distillery LOL.

7 years ago 0

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