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Auchentoshan Classic Bourbon Oak Cask

Satisfying and Uncomplicated

0 1082

@ScotchNoobReview by @ScotchNoob

18th Feb 2011

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[Note: These are reposted from my blog (see profile), if anyone has an issue with this, please let me know!]

Auchentoshan (a toughie to pronounce: Aw-ken/tosh-an) is one of the few remaining Lowlander distilleries in Scotland. It’s also notable for its use of “triple distillation” to make its spirit. This means rather than using two stills to distill the beer-like wash twice, like most Scottish distilleries, Auchentoshan processes the new-make spirit in three stills (three times). This creates a higher-proof final distillate (around 82% ABV) which is lighter and sweeter in flavor than most Scotch. I wonder if they ever release a cask-strength bottling! Wowza! Note that many Irish distillers also triple-distill their whiskey.

The Classic bottling of Auchentoshan (a replacement for the previous ‘Select’ bottling of pre-2008) has no age statement, and is likely a vatting of various ages under the flagship 12-year expression. It is matured exclusively in ex-bourbon casks, which gives it delicate vanilla notes without overpowering the nuances of the triple distillate. I picked up a bottle of The Classic recently and enjoy it immensely. I have also had a dram of the 10-year bottling, which is no longer available, and I thought it was very similar. My notes for the Classic follow:

Lightly colored. Nose is big on the heather (or clover?) and the honey… light and crisp. Not too dry at all. Smells floral and peachy, almost like St. Germain elderflower liqueur. Very perfumed and floral, even without water added to open it up. The water brings out some lemony notes which make it smell a little too much like household spray cleaner to me.

Body is creamy, but not terribly heavy. Caramel praline ice cream developing into lavender and clover honey. The heather pervades, and introduces a green grassy, throat lozenge quality. Finally, a hint of bitter lemon peel. Again, water emphasizes the lemon while also thinning the body and bringing out more of that cleaning solvent character.

Finish is short-lived, but fades with dairy cream, salt water taffy, and honeycomb. Not very complex, but super tasty.

What a satisfying dram. It is delicate and subtle, sweet and crisp. Like a sugary glass of lemonade on a hot day. A little rough and undefined around the edges, no doubt due to its youth, which is also responsible for this whisky’s delightful crispness. I suggest skipping the water. This is, by the way, sometimes referred to as “The Ladies’ Malt”, because it is a fine (light) introduction to malt whisky for the gentler sex. It, however, doesn’t make me any less of a man that I enjoy it! …right?

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10 comments

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

@ScotchNoob, I'm sure nobody here will have a problem with you reposting from or plugging your blog (we are all very open minded here on Connosr :)), I do suggest you discover the site a bit so you don't have to repeat stuff (hint: check Edition 3 of Connosr Distilled for a report - yes, my report - on Auchentoshan and it's triple distillation). Having said that, allow me to say that Auchentoshan has released quite a few cask strength whiskies over the years, most recently the 1977 30 Year Old Sherry Cask Matured and 1978 Bourbon Barrel Cask Matured... And, being a Toshan Man with connections on the inside :-), later this year a very special 1975 cask strenght Toshan will be released as well... Slàinte! (www.markdermul.be/toshanman - see?)

9 years ago 0

@ScotchNoob
ScotchNoob commented

Thanks for the suggestion @markjedi1, I'll try to check in the future for distillery information before including it with my Reviews. I considered just pasting my Tasting Notes alone without the preamble, but thought any newcomers looking for details about a specific bottle might be interested in the summary. I think I'll try to trim it down in future. Cheers! :)

9 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

Indeed, this was a very nice review @ScotchNoob.

As for cask strength releases of triple distilled Scotch—or Irish, for that matter—whisky, bear in mind that the ABV will decrease in the cask with age (unlike many an American whiskey), so that you are unlikely to find the cask strength of a triple-distilled whisky at a whopping 82% ABV.

9 years ago 0

@ScotchNoob
ScotchNoob commented

@dbk understood. I guess it'd be more interesting to try new-make spirit at Auchentoshan. I'll have to remember that if I ever get to Scotland for a tour!

9 years ago 0

@sorren
sorren commented

Nice report scotchNoob, i love this drink, and maybe it takes a real man to own up to drinking it !!! so not a ladies drink.. lol.. i do understand there is to be a cask strength version of this released some time this year......I look forward to this....

9 years ago 0

@markjedi1
markjedi1 commented

@ScotchNoob: No problem, I enjoyed your review, just trying to save you some time. As for the new make, I've tasted it and it was wonderful. Typically Auchentoshan (thank goodness), but rather strong at 82% ABV. I have a small bottle at home, distilled on 22nd September 2010 at 79,2%. Brilliant new make.

9 years ago 0

@AboutChoice
AboutChoice commented

Very good review, @ScotchNoob. This may motivate me to retaste my bottle, as I didn't care for it a year ago; nor, did I like Glenkinchie (Lowland), and many other entry level, lighter or budget malts.

And I have to comment that any and all whisk(e)y, drunk neat, is overwhelming a man's drink, as very few women drink whisky neat, and if they do enjoy whisky at all, it is usually in a mixed drink. Alas, too bad about all this ... :)

9 years ago 0

@ScotchNoob
ScotchNoob commented

@AboutChoice Thanks for the comment. I actually disliked the Glenkinchie I had recently, too. I thought its bitter-lemon-peel character was too dominant, and there was nothing of interest to back it up. I think of the Auchentoshan as light, but much better balanced.

9 years ago 0

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