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Auchentoshan 18 Year Old

Average score from 8 reviews and 18 ratings 84

Auchentoshan 18 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Auchentoshan
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 18 year old

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Auchentoshan 18 Year Old

This Review is dedicated to @Markjedi1 who recently helped me to obtain a sample of a spirit that he feels is worse than Lambertus. I’m not trying that tonight, but in appreciation I’ve pulled out a 50 cc miniature that I ordered from the Whisky Exchange in 2011 or 2012 when I used to have a friend who went over frequently and brought back stuff for me.

As far as I know, unless I tried it at Spirit of Toronto, this is my first Auchentoshan. This particular expression comes in a small cardboard box that states that it has been matured in ex-bourbon casks. It also acknowledges the addition of caramel “Mit Farbstoff zur gewährleistung einer einheitlichen farbgebung” which here means “To ensure uniform color”. Bottled at 43% I infer that it has been chill-filtered.

This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of only a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.


Neat – Fruity, with a vegetal note that overwhelms. This subsides after a few minutes leaving a very fruity nose. Some sweet apple, some cinnamon. Do I get juicy fruit gum? On pouring I would give the nose 18/25. Half an hour later it’s a 22/25.

With water – I get a light perfume, rose? The other smells are dampened.


Neat – Thin, sweet, fruity. Some spices. Slight alcohol nip. 21/25

With water – Bitter, some sweet fruit, a little spice. A little effervescence. Time smoothes the bitterness a bit and I get sour citrus, a lemony note.

Finish: medium length, dry, astringent. Unremarkable. 21/25 Shorter with water.

Balance: Nose and palate complement each other. 21/25 Water throws off the balance. Too bitter. Time helps.

Score: 85 /100

Not a bad first try. I did the review with 25-30 cc but I do like this and decided to add the rest of the mini to my glass for sipping the rest of the evening.

I was very impressed with the change in the nose over time. The idea of letting it sit 1 minute in the glass for every year in the cask really seems to apply to this one. I wish I had tasted it earlier to be able to make a comparison.

I probably wouldn’t buy a bottle of this for $100, but I would be interested in sampling other ‘toshans, especially some at higher ABV.

Cheers @Markjedi1 !

@Nozinan Glad you liked it. It's is indeed a very good Toshan. The Valinch suggestion: I second that!

@Nozinan Next time we'll meet, I will bring my Valinch. I really like your intro...


So I have had a bottle of the 12 year old for a while, so it's interesting to see how Auchentoshan ages with another 6 years.

The light bright fruitiness of the 12 year old is gone, but there's the familiar now dominant toasty wood, stone fruits, stem ginger, barley malt and hints of sherry, now stronger.

Nose is beeswax, plain wood, stone fruits. The wood isn't hugely flavourful. Simple slightly toasty oak, but it's dominating things. Sherry notes coming through, slight caramel and toffee, slight soapiness, spiciness, bit of pepper.

Taste is simple dry toasted oak wood, spicy, barley malt, soapiness, green grassy, vanilla.

On the finish lots of the plain vanilla wood and spiciness. Definitely grows nicely on the palate.

I really like the light fruitiness of the 12 and in this the wood and spice has kind of trampled over that, but it's still simple and nice.


Colour – deep golden amber. Long legs, it sticks to the glass.

Nose: vanilla, oak, cut grass, floral, sweet caramel and crisp apples.

Palate: smooth and soft in the mouth. Dry spiced oak, barley, sweet caramel, dried fruits, lightly spiced fading to a drying pepper.

The finish is fairly long, sweet and lightly peppered.

A drop of water really opens up the nose nicely and I would recommend it. I really didn't like the NAS or 3wood, the 12 is very good but this is a completely different level.


Nose: Very intense - sweet and floral. Butterscotch and creamy caramel. A bit of citrus and parma violets lurking around. Sharpens slightly over time.

Palate: More of the same although Parma Violets and a floral edge are much more prominent. The sweet caramel takes a back seat but is still there. Slightly more bitter than the nose would suggest. Also, a thinner mouthfeel than I'd expect for a 18yo malt. The bitterness does disappear after it has been in the glass for some time, allowing the sweeter caramel edge through.

Finish: Sweet and lingering. Gradually fades to bitterness.

This has an excellent nose, but slightly disappointing palate, (let it breathe). However, the finish redeems it somewhat. I prefer this over the Three Wood, (which was far too sweet for my palate) in that it is just a little more restrained.


I tried Auchentoshan NAS many years ago and ran a mile! It was really horrible, and I recall a nose of mouldy cheese. OK, it was cheap but I'd rather pay nothing and drink nothing. Maybe it's changed since but I did not like it at all.

The only one I've tried since then was the Three Wood which was much much better - but too sweet for my palate.

My first sampling of the 18yo then.......

A very light nose of malt and grassiness. Gradually becomes sweeter and a touch of apple there too. Ever so slightly spicy - it's all very subtle.

Palate - now this is much more impressive than any previous Auchentoshan I tried. I thought Brandy Snaps immediately upon tasting it. We've got a toffee dominance with hints of coffee and overall very gentle. I note Candy Floss, (is that Cotton Candy in the US?) so overall this is kind of funfair flavours. It has a really soft velvety mouthfeel.

The finish is short but sweet, (and tangy).

Considering I don't normally go for the lighter sweeter malt, I find this really delicious. Just goes to show how some distilleries don't do themselves justice with their cheaper mass-market releases. I might have to grab a full bottle some time.

Yes it is Cotton candy here. But I like candy floss better. Probably a good thing its not called that here we don't need to expand our weight anymore. Lol


Back to Auchentoshan; I have previously tasted and reviewed the Classic, Select, 12yo, and Three Wood. Now the 18yo:

First vapor: Drying grass.

Nose1: Creme caramel, soft and simple. With time, the flan gains red apple and almond skins.

Nose2: Wait at least 10 minutes, without disturbance, for these nose elements to intensify somewhat: flan becomes fresh banana slices on a wheat toast, spread with macadamia nut butter.

Palate: Citric grass and caramel, on entrance. Dries bitterly with oaky nutmeg, over a base of fresh laundy. Midpalate, the oak partially mellows to cashew, still with nutmeg tingling into the finish.

Finish: Light vanilla, dry and woody: The oak is like that wheat toast, macadamia nut, and almond skins.

The Auchentoshan 18 is lighter than I expected. Compared to the 12yo, it hints at a similar character but is toned down to the softness of the Auchentoshan Select. In fact, if comparing to the 12yo, then it is best described with subtractions: For example, the nose now happily lacks the bitter grass element, but sadly lacks the caramel and coconut. And the palate now lacks the too-intense oak entrance, but at the same time lacks the smoothening toffee. The overall impression is of light oak: not too bitter, not too sweet-- unfortunately not too anything.
I had higher hopes for the higher age, but I think overall I would prefer the 12yo. And as always, I most happily and heartily recommend the Auchentoshan Three Wood, which is more robust with toffee/vanilla/floral notes while keeping the peppering oaky accent found in these others.

The most similar light malt I have tasted was perhaps the Balvenie 12yo Double Wood; see that review if you are looking to explore these lighter shades of Scotch.

And if you want something richer, this 18yo malt strikes me as a toned-down version of another 18yo: the Bunnahabhain, which includes some salt in addition to more intensity of the toasty-oak sensations.


So when we'd last left our young hero he'd bought and tried a Auchentoshan sampler set consisting of the 12 yr old, the 18 yr old and the Three Wood.

Our young hero had bought this set when he learned after informing his friend from Connosr, Systemdown, that he was going to purchase some sample bottles so that he could take part in a trade with said friend, that Dan Murphy's had gift packs of Auchentoshan for sale.

Our hero had read for months reviews from Markjedi, also of Connosr, about Auchentoshan whiskies and Markjedi's passion for this distillery.

After purchasing this gift pack he tried the 12 yr old and while finding it good, felt it was lacking a little bit.

We now find our young hero shortly after he has tried the 18 yr old Auchentoshan.

So our young hero is with his young wife and they're watching the second to last episode of House. One of their favorite shows. Now this is a touching episode (Spoiler alert!) because House's best friend, Dr. Wilson, has terminal cancer and has only five months to live. House must learn to come to terms with this, as does his team and Dr. Wilson.

This is a very sad and touching episode with tears and laughter even in all the right places.

Sounds really good right?

You'd be wrong.

Because of Auchentoshan 18 yr old.

That's right. Auchentoshan ruined the second to last episode of House for our young hero.

Why? You might ask?

Because it's nose is too damn seductive!

Our young hero nosed his glencairn for over an hour, seriously over an hour, before taking a single sip.

Now it started with the cut grass, which did worry our hero, but he was patient and slowly, but surely he was rewarded.

The nose developed into apples, pears, caramel, then caramel apples with a hint of creme brulee. Very very nice.

Finally after some exasperated looks from his wife, our young hero takes a sip. The flavor and feel of the night before crosses his tongue, but better, much better.

The flavors that our hero experiences is once again the cut grass, but this time with some sweetness, honey and vanilla, with some oak following up behind.

The finish is medium to long with oak and sultanas and a hint of apples and pears, just on the tip of the horizon.

Mouth feel is still feeling quite thin, even at 43% abv. Leading our hero to believe that he would love to see this whisky at around 50% abv.

Our heroes wife preferred the 12 yr old over the 18 yr old, while our hero vastly enjoyed the 18 yr old.

This leaves our hero with a problem, because after an online search of all his Australian liquor store sites he was unable to find the 18 Auchentoshan whatsoever.

Tomorrow night our hero will get a chance to taste the Auchentoshan Three Wood!


It sounds like the hero of this review could be a sidekick for Toshan Man! :)

The 18 is definitely on my wishlist, though it is not currently available in Ontario (it disappeared several months ago). All that remains at the LCBO is the 12, the Three Wood (in limited #'s), the rapidly disappearing Valinch, and a couple bottles of a 16 yo Hart Brothers bottling.

I am with you on the abv. I would love to see the entire standard line go to 46% (I'd be ok with the necessary upward price adjustment), and it would be nice if they ditched the caramel colouring (the cost savings of not having to use e150 could help moderate the aforementioned price hike). A good product would become great!

Agreed Pudge. No more caramel coloring and raise the ABV. I'd happily pay oh $100 AUS for a bottle of this 18 yr old, although I'm sure it'll run me more. The nose kept developing as did the flavor profile. Very yummy stuff!

They do have the 16 yr old Hart Brothers over here, not sure how good it is, but the Valinch looks good!


I'm not going to bore you by repeating that Auchentoshan is really my label, but let me just say that I'm very much looking forward to visiting the distillery come September.

After having tasted the Classic, Select, 10 Year Old, 12 Year Old, Three Wood and the rather elusive 1987 Sherry Butt, I wanted to give this last one in my cabinet (bar the 1988 Bordeaux Wine Finish that is locked up until Father's Day) a go. After the rather tough encounter with the 1987 Sherry Butt, this was again full confirmation that the Toshan's are truly my dram.

This expression is very oily and is glued to the glass with it's nice and round golden sheen. The tears come down after a good while, promising good things to come. It's like looking at the body of a shapely woman.

The nose is grand: fruity with honey, vanilla, almonds and a bit of tobacco leaves and green tea. After a while, add banana and a tad of spice (nutmeg). Wonderful.

The first sip is fresh, clean and flowery, with honey, ginger and sweet barley. Feisty and yet reserved. A lot less playful than the 12 Year Old (which remains my favorite). This one is truly a grown up lowland. Respect!

The finish is rather long with nuts, raisins and dry oak. This is pure enjoyment. It makes a man (or me at least) happy.

This is a nice, well balanced dram with a lot of character and a great example of good Lowland whisky in general and a grand Auchentoshan in particular. Unfortunately too expensive to replace the 12 Year Old as daily dram, though.

Please be advised that I tried the NEW 18 year old, with the blue label on the square flat bottle. Image can be found here : blog.whivie.be.

Sounds great - added to my wishlist.

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