In 2016, Auchentoshan organized the New Malt Order, a worldwide bartender’s competition. The 12 winners (from the US, UK, Germany, Canada and Sweden) were then invited to visit Rachel Barrie – then Master Blender at Morrison-Bowmore but recently moved to BenRiach – in the Glasgow HQ to create a new malt for the bartender’s scene. While I am excited a new Auchentoshan has finally been released, I admit to being a tad worried that this Scotch is ‘specifically designed for cocktails’. But maybe my worries are unwarranted. After all, the malt was created with malts spanning 5 decades (from the 1970’s to the 2010’s, with the youngest in the mix being 6 years old). The vatting was composed from a range of casks, including wine casks, rum casks, German oak and even a former Laphroaig cask…
On the nose it is all very sweet and accessible on cherry pie, milk chocolate and dried apricots, but also some tobacco leaves. This is actually quite pleasant.
On the palate, however, I find it a bit sharp on ginger (and a little too much to my taste), before the sweetness of the pastry shines through. The typical citrusy notes are present (more oranges than lemons in this case) and the cherries return. But it’s a tad piquant and sweet & sour – something I am not used to from my favorite Lowlander.
The finish is wonderfully long and warms the mouth, which is very nice.
Well, I must admit that I found the nose and finish good, but on the palate it is a bit too sharp in my book. Having said that, I can imagine this works very well in a cocktail. And that is what this one was ‘designed’ for. The New Malt Order competition will take place again this year, so we may expect to see the second annual edition in 2018.