Whisky Connosr
Buy Whisky Online

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch Two

Average score from 3 reviews and 4 ratings 77

Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch Two

Product details

Shop for this

What next?

  • Add to cabinet
  • Add to wish list
Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch Two

It has been almost two years since the Auchentoshan Virgin Oak was introduced. Not too long ago the second batch was released. You will understand that I have no other option than to try this one as well. Do I hear some nasty people whispering ‘someone has to’? Very funny. I gladly sacrifice myself (and put a glass of the first batch next to it for comparison).

It takes a while for the nose to open up. The first thing I smell is grainy wood. Then apfelstrüdel and chocolate with praline filling follow. Peel of recently peeled mandarin. Candied orange rind. Cinnamon and some nutmeg. Becomes beautifully creamy. It even gets something bourbonny. Rye bread and vanilla ice-cream. Good nose.

Creamy body. Nice, mildly pricky arrival. The spices speak immediately. Nutmeg, pepper, candied ginger. A light bitterness from the wood. Becomes quite fruity. Everything from the nose, but in twofold. Add some pineapple from a can. A slice of kiwi. The chocolate from the nose is gone, though. Good stuff.

The finish is medium long on bittersweet touches and loads of warming spices.

I find this batch as good as the prevous one. My only point of criticism is the price. A NAS whisky at 85 EUR? That is a bit much in my opinion.


There has been several distillers releasing a virgin oak product, Glen Dronach and others. This is a new release here in Ontario and I was curiouso about the virgin oak experience. Although the description suggests apple maple chocolate caramel and a bit of orange zest, unfortunately I found none of that. I gave it 10 minutes and after several nosings I could not get paste the wood, that the only scent I could discern, oak and only oak.

Although smooth, the taste is just as the smell, Oak, oak and more oak. If you like the taste of wood then this is for you. Even after some water , nothing but wood comes through. Although warming and smooth I think they blew this. No, chocolate, no fruit, no barley, no caramel notes.

@whiskydallas, greetings, and thanks for your review. I surmise that there is no age statement for Auchentoshan Virgin Oak. I've not tried this one, but have had the Deanston Virgin Oak, and the Stranahan's Colorado Malt Whiskey, which is also made from new oak. New oak is tricky with barley-malt whisk(e)y precisely for the reason you have pointed out: it is very easy for the strength of flavours from new oak to overwhelm the flavours from barley grain. It makes all of the difference in the world whether that new oak is charred vs being toasted, though. Charred new oak releases the wood flavours quickly and intensely. If the new oak is toasted and not charred, then the oak flavours are very restrained, subtle, and light by comparison.

Jim Murray made a huge mistake by having described the aging of Glenmorangie Ealanta as having been in the style of a bourbon. Bourbon whiskey by US law requires aging in charred new oak. Ealanta used toasted oak, not charred oak. If Ealanta had been aged those 19 years in new charred oak, there would have been no barley to have been tasted through all of the intense flavours from oak. But since toasted oak was used, the flavours from the virgin oak were subtle and refined even after 19 years of aging.

I am very curious as to how Auchentoshan, Deanston, GlenDronac, etc. are handling the oak prior to aging. It makes all of the difference in the world with respect to what you will taste in the final product.

Stranahan's Colorado Malt Whiskey, in Denver, uses charred new oak, but they age rather lightly, typically 4 or 5 years. With Stranahan's you can sense that if they took that aging much farther it would be just too much oak. As it is they provide plenty of oak, and not just quantity of oak: the flavours coming out of new charred oak wood are chemically qualitatively different than the flavours from re-used oak barrels.

In summary: it is a tricky business to use new oak with barley.

I'd also be interested. My first tasting of this wasn't quite so strong in wood, but there was some noticeable flavor "young wood" I don't recall from the Ealanta.

I also had only a brief tasting (so far) of Glen Garioch's Virgin Oak expression. (Note that Glen Garioch shares the same owners with Auchentoshan.) I believe that one was much more of a success, with less oaky spice and more honey. The Glen Garioch version begins to be worthy of comparison with the Ealanta (although still lagging by maybe 5ish points, for me).


Virgin Oak is in. Recently a Glen Garioch Virgin was released and now Auchentoshan follows. Who knows, maybe a Bowmore Virgin Oak is next (the three distilleries, as you know, are part of the same group). I had to wait (too) long on this one, but today it arrived, so I opened it immediately.

The nose starts off somewhat timidly, but after a good five minutes a nice panoply of aromas emerges. Apple pie with vanilla ice, lemon juice, something dusty that I cannot really put the finger to but gives it a nice depth. Leave it for a while longer and it evolves towards candied oranges. Cinnamon is the leading spice with nutmeg as its sidekick. The virgin wood has not overpowered this delicate Lowland spirit. Hurray, a good start!

Silky soft mouthfeel with an immediate burst of fruit and spices. Ginger budges in, which is no surprise. It is even more fruity on the palate than on the nose. A small fruit salad with tangerines from a can, pineapple on syrup and some apples in the mix. Peach and apricot too. Kiwi! Midpalate it turns a bit floral. Lemongrass.

The finish is rather short, but does remain juicy with a wonderfully warm spiciness and a hint of brown sugar.

A surprisingly fruity Auchentoshan that does not disappoint. I have only two points of criticism. In my opinion, it could do with a higher ABV (like the Valinch) and a lower price. 85 EUR for a no age statement Auchentoshan seems a bit steep.

Popular Auchentoshan whiskies