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Auchentoshan Valinch 2012 Release

Average score from 7 reviews and 7 ratings 83

Auchentoshan Valinch 2012 Release

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Auchentoshan Valinch 2012 Release

Auchentoshan Valinch is bottled at Cask Strength. No peat is used. For the reviewed sample I thank @Robert99

Nose: intense medium pitched barley...and more barley; nice floral perfume. This is grassy with some light pear flavours. I assume no wine cask here, but this smells like there could be some light wine influence. There is minimal flavour from oak. This is simple and very good. Water added brings out high-pitched crystalline sugar and is very pleasant. Score: 22/25

Taste: even more intense in the mouth, with strong fruitiness of apple and pears. The grassy quality of barley is strong in the mouth. Water added increases sweetness which is desirable to add balance. I prefer this with water. Score: 21.5/25

Finish: moves toward the sour by the death, with some bitterness creeping in. Water gives slight improvement. Score: 19/25

Balance: very good balance in the nose, good balance on the delivery, only fair balance on the finish. Score 21.5/25

Total Sequential Score: 84 points

Strength: strong grain flavours throughout; minimal wood influence. Score: 22.5/25

Quality: very good flavours in the nose; good flavours thereafter. Score: 21.5/25

Variety: enough variety; this is simple whisky. Score: 21/25

Harmony: very good harmony in the nose, good harmony on the palate, fair harmony on the finish. Score: 20/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 85 points

Comment: I like the intensity of Auchentoshan Valinch 2012. The 2011 Release was a little smoother and more harmonious than this one is, but this 2012 Valinch is pleasant enough, especially with a little water added. Try this with water


This is the second release of Auchentoshan Valinch (the first being in 2011 - I have a bottle tucked away). Valinch (named after the pipette that draws the whisky from the cask) is essentially the cask strength version of their Classic expression, matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. Only 2000 cases are released per edition.

The colour is a light gold. On the nose we have ginger, cereal (Bran Flakes??), light caramel and buttery pastry. Very creme brûlée. Quite light and herbal, and a little too spirity, but there is a backbone of oak there. Despite the high strength, I recommend not adding water as that seems to just quiet everything down.

On the palate there is custard, Granny Smith, lavender, tropical fruits (mango, papaya) and some leather. Still has that creme brûlée note, but spicier with the high ABV. Strange mix of being spirity and oaky....hm. There is complexity but it's a bit out of balance. Water brings out some creaminess in the mouthfeel, but that's about it - you may prefer it without.

The finish is a little rough, and rather thin, leaving spice and oak. This is certainly not a dull dram - fruity, herbal, spicy and at cask strength - but there is an odd contrast between young spirit and oak influence. It is as if the wood refused to mellow out the spirit, yet still was able to impart wood characteristics. While it doesn't fully work for me, it is very interesting and you may find more favour with it. I tasted the 2011 edition some years ago so I don't recall enough to be able to compare it (and I'm keeping my bottle of 2011 closed for now).

@talexander this is an interesting review, seems to not hold up against the 2011 - which is disappointing. I tried the 2011 at a Whisky Show in Sydney (in 2012) and it was one of my most memorable drams of the evening. I have a bottle of the 2011 tucked away too.

@talexander I opened my bottle yesterday and, for the moment, it is all Ginger and spices. I have oak like you did but the Ginger is all over the place. I think it will improve with air as I had a flash of red tea and rosewater. How is your bottle coming with air?


The Valinch 2012 is the perfect dram for anyone with a sweet-tooth. A Beautiful pale gold, non chill-filtered, cask strength lowlander in a really nice kinda flattened bottle.

The nose is very pleasant and has quite alot going on. At first I'm hit with Sour candy, big vanilla and lemon meringue pie. Keeping on i get notes of oak, peach, green grapes, sweet wheat biscuits, White wine and pine and it's all incredibly creamy. Some of the more odd notes I'm picking up are grass, yeast and buttery sour-dough bread

The palate has a quite intensely sweet arrival, White wine, a bit floral, mild grapefruit, sweet dough. It is very round though high ABV. Water brings out maltyness and really rounds of the sweetness and tang, making it a more subtle malty taste.

A long, lingering finish is at first zesty and a bit hot with a slight peppery note. after a moment it gives way to sweet yellow melon, eucalyptus, grapefruit and rounds of with a pronounced taste of lemondrops. You know, the hard candies! A real lemony zing

It's not the most complex whisky but heavily on the sweet side. And I really like it! If youre looking for peat or brine or Earth - look elsewhere. If you're looking for a real sweet treat that still has alot to offer on within its own realm. Look no further than the Valinch 2012.

Still holds up well beyond a year after opening. This certainly is one to enjoy at cask strength without water to enjoy the tangy citrus at it's most powerful


The 2nd release of this cask strength version of the classic, bottled at 57.2% and NCF.

Nose.. Fresh floral scents, oranges, lemon zest, there is also vanilla and toffee in there, this is a young Whisky but a strong nose for its age.

Taste.. Sweet honey, toffee, vanilla but very fresh with the lemon and sugary orange taste prominent, there is a little oak in the background but it compliments the taste so well.

Finish.. Medium- long, not overpowering and very enjoyable, makes you want to try more..

For a young cask strength Whisky it packs a punch, this is a Whisky that should have a long future I hope, one of my favourites from the distillary

What is the age on Auchentoshan Valinch and Classic?

I am a fan of Valinch 2011, but from what I've seen Valinch 2012 has gotten a less enthusiastic reception overall. Do you know the 2011 release, and, if so, how would you compare the two?


Color: warm yellow

Nose: Crème brûlée and some brown sugar. Despite the high ABV it has a very soft nose. Water reveals something flowery and orange zest.

Taste: Again sweetness of vanilla pudding with orange zest topping. Near the end you'll find some caramelised almonds.

Finish: Nutty and creamy

Conclusion: A dram for people with a sweet tooth or those who are on a budget. A decent introduction to Auchentoshan and a very affordable cask strength.

My original tasting notes (in Dutch) can be found on my tumblr blog A Tasty Dram: tastydram.tumblr.com/post/46778816115/…


Nose: Very funky nose at first, quite young and untamed. reminds me of young Kavalans / Amruts , but not in a good way, since those are rather excellent most of the time.Clearly needs some time in the glass to become approachable (or so I thought at first, but it never became a good nose, not even after an hour).

Palate: Sandalwood, some shaved oak, warming, very sweet, and rather dry. a bit of spicy, the ABV is very much felt here,it’s untamed.

Finish: Sweet stuff , wood, sugar and egg yolk liquor.

It’s a fierce dram, but somehow i feel it was bottled prematurely, before the wood had tamed it enough to be approachable and pleasant. I do feel that batch #1 was much better.


On the 16th of June, Auchentoshan held its Open Day, where this Valinch 2012 Festival Edition was presented. It is the successor of the acclaimed Valinch, that is considered to be the cask strength edition of the Classic. Thanks to my friend Paul, who visited the distillery, I was able to get two bottles of the Valinch 2012. I taste it next to the original release (at 57,5%).

You can immediately tell on the nose that this is a young whisky, somewhat nervous. Less round than the previous release, I think. But still very sweet on vanilla and citrus. Porrigde, roasted barley and eucalyuptus. Fresh wood shavings. Leaving it to breath does wonders. Becomes fruitier. I get some sultanas. Light peppery touch.

It is creamy and powerful. Good body. Picquant. Immediately fruity notes from oranges, peel included, and raisins appear. Clearly young, but that does not spoil the fun in this case.

The finish is pleasantly long, honeysweet and dies on coconut.

Yes, this Valinch 2012 is a dram to be enjoyed on an Indian summer night on the terrace. Can cope with water, but does not need any. I found last year’s release just a tad better.

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