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It took some doing to get a sample of the Auchentoshan 1957 (according to my ‘supplier’ it had the hallmarks of a ‘military operation’), but here it is in front of me at last. It is the 50 Year Old from the Second Edition, meaning the oloroso sherry butt 479, that yielded 171 bottles of this 5 decades old beauty at 46,8% ABV. I am about to taste my oldest Auchentoshan ever and will be taking my time with it.
My expectation was to have a lot of wood on the nose, but that is not the case. This is succulent and fruity with ripe gooseberry, pear, lime peel. Also acacia honey, pecan nuts, marzipan, mango, passion fruit and a bit of mint. Some tobacco leaves and buttered toast in the background. Yes, this is wonderfully complex and surprisingly fresh for such an auldie.
The wood speaks more loudly on the palate, emphasizing the age. A lot of drying tannins and resin precede a great fruity and sweet explosion of mandarin, pink grapefruit and ditto zest, drenched in light caramel and sprinkled with brown sugar. Green tea. Feisty with cloves and eucalyptus.
The finish is short to medium in length, silky soft with the oak in perfect balance with the resin and mint. Outstanding.
Ah, a dream come true. What a sensational whisky. But with a price tag of £2.700, I will (probably) never be able to add a full bottle to my collection. I do hope, though, to be able to get my hands on a sample of cask 480 as well, as this is rumored by insiders to be even better (hint, hint).