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.