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This newer expression is fully matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. Of course, like all Auchenstoshan, this is triple distilled. The bottle has been open for some months now.
The colour is a medium gold. A little spirity on the nose, but pleasant, with grainy malt, honey, toffee, vanilla, mint and green apple. Extremely fruity, actually - throw in some tropical fruits and citrus as well and you have a pretty big basket! Rather floral. Mintier with water. Nice but a little bland in that Auchentoshan way.
On the palate the toffee and vanilla are fighting with the fruit - quite a bit of honey as well. More citrus comes out, with some spices as well. Creamier mouthfeel with water. Tastes fine but doesn't quite gel together somehow.
The finish is a very herbal and a little bitter - not great. This seems to me to be a little too young, and hence rather unbalanced - fruit fights with toffee/vanilla fights with a young spirit. I'm always hit and miss with Auchentoshan (I tend to like the cask-strength ones) and this one is a near miss for me. I poured it for my office a few months ago though, and they all quite liked it, so if you are a fan of the 12 or Three Wood, this might be for you.