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Two years ago, Auchentoshan bottled a unique whisky: it had matured solely on Limousin oak of the French Bordeaux house of Saint Julien (exclusively for the duty free shop World of Whiskies). This new one is the follow up of that bottling. I believe the WoW-bottles were a test - a successful one, I might add - so the distillery decided to bottle more of the same for the general public. The ABV has gone slightly down from 58,2% to 58%, and (as I found out while tasting them head to head) has improved slightly.
Sweet and sour are still in a headlock over supremacy, but the summer berries (gooseberry, currant and juniper) come out victorious. The sour touch is tangerines and grapes. I even get some chocolate and something meaty and flinty (unexpected, but not unpleasant) on the nose after leaving to breath it for a while. There is a touch of cinnamon and cloves. The nose has improved quite a bit.
The whisky is very creamy on the palate and again makes me associate with red summer fruit. The wine influence is obvious (how can it not be, when this whisky matured solely on red wine casks for 11 years?), but pleasant, more so than on the previous WoW-bottling. Contrary to the WoW-bottling, this one can cope with water elegantly and improves both the nose and the palate. What I call a ‘swimmer’.
The finish is dry and short, with a bitter edge. I like it.
If it is indeed the same whisky as the previously bottled 1999 Wine Cask for World of Whiskies (which I believe it is), then it has improved quite a bit. So hopefully the folks at my favorite distillery have a few more of these in the warehouse for bottling over the next couple of years. I like where this is going.