Alongside the American Oak Reserve, this Auchentoshan Dark Oak was launched in September 2019 as well, exclusive to the global traveller. Next to bourbon casks, this release was also composed with oloroso and PX sherry casks, hence the name. I’m fortunate that my friends Pascal and Ellen visited the distillery early October and brought me two bottles: one to share and one for the collection.
The nose is very candy-like and sweet, which is no doubt thanks to the sherry casks in the mix. Sultanas and pineapple, baked apples and candied oranges come first, followed by lemongrass and vanilla and finally some crème brûlée. Neither the bourbon nor the sherry casks dominate, creating a fine balance.
It is nicely oily and fresh at the same time. Honeysweet from the first sip. A touch too sweet to my taste even. Luckily some woodspice are there to counter this somewhat. Yes… leave it on the palate for a moment and you’ll soon notice it offers the best of both worlds. Wonderfully sweet notes (candied oranges, candied sugar, sultanas), a lovely spiciness (pepper and nutmeg) and a hint of toasted oak. Again: well-balanced. Good job.
The finish is between short and medium and remains candy-like sweet.
Less delicate than the American Oak Reserve, but with a much broader scala of smell and taste and thus more interesting. For an entry level malt (because that’s what this is after all), this is very nice. Thanks, Pascal & Ellen for (literally) carrying this weight from Glasgow to Ghent.