I had to wait long on this one, but today Billy – the Belgian representative for Malts of Scotland – would by pass in my neighborhood and he therefor delivered to the Toshan Man’s door. Thomas Ewers, the sympathetic owner of this German bottler, selected a refill sherry hogshead that had slept for no less than 20 years with my favorite Lowlander (can I say that in times of Murraygate?). It was bottled at cask strength.
On the nose I do get those classic delicate traits of Auchentoshan, joined by lovely notes of cherry syrup and blood oranges. Some toffee apples and hint of sour rolls. But underneath there is also a little dirty edge of putty and even a hint of rubber. I consider myself lucky this does not dominate.
The rubber does not return on the palate. Now I get a creamy, feisty and dark red malts on the tongue. Cherries with chocolate. Make that Mon Chéri. The juice of blood oranges, upholstered with cloves and soft ginger. A bit zesty as well.
In the finish the tannins come to the fore, making for a lightly drying bitterness. But it remains sufficiently sweet to keep the balance.
Lovely Auchentoshan that – thanks to being matured in a refill cask – can shows its own DNA.