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The reviewed bottle is 80% full, has been open for 2 years, and has been gassed for preservation for 11 months.
Nose: There is lots going on here...at first, stale Coca-Cola, but in a pleasant way, plenty of sherry, I would say "sherry cough syrup", crabapples, maple syrup, Winesap apples, pears, raisins, prunes, 8 yo Cognac. This is much more expressive long-opened than it was at first, but it was also very good and very rich then, mostly with the wine influences thick and highly emphasised in the early months. Rich and pleasant. Strong intensity. A few minutes in the glass and this has developed a lot of high pitched confectioner's sugar notes and citrus peeks out from the background. A little water had the same effect as waiting with the glass and giving it air: confectioner's sugar and citrus come out
Taste: translates all of that baggage train to the mouth...decent, very pleasant; water brings out some of the more bass fruity elements. There is a bit of murkiness to the balance of the flavours, but it is a very pleasant murkiness, with only relatively small bits of the whole unexpressed. In this case I actually think it works to have some "bits" a little undefined and undifferentiated, and I like it just the way that it is
Finish: medium length for the full package of flavours; long for sweetness and remnants of wine. Water makes the finish longer for the fruity elements, especially for the deeper tones among them
Balance: Auchentoshan Three Wood divides whisky lovers. I am in the PRO camp. This bottle has held up well open for 2 years. I have always liked Auchentoshan Three Wood, and found the wine/fruity elements pleasant and relatively clean. New bottle or old, Auchentoshan Three Wood is a whisky I would recommend to sherry-finished Scotch lovers