Auchentoshan Virgin Oak

Auchentoshan: Virgin Oak (Scottish Lowland Single Malt Whisky: No age statement: 46% ABV)

Visual: Vibrant gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Smooth. Coconut and white chocolate. Vanilla fudge. Light oak. Viscous somehow. Honeycomb.

Body: Very smooth. Honey. Apricot. Grapes. White chocolate. Viscous. Shortbread. Water smoothes even more adds toffee and coconut.

Finish: Light oak. Honey. White chocolate. Malt chocolate

Conclusion: Oh yes, this is the Auchentoshan for me – this is the one where they make their name. At 46% abv this is still insanely smooth, from the aroma right through to the end. It is viscous, but smooth. Even the aroma seems to have a viscous sheen somehow. Water, of course, lowers the viscosity. Whether you prefer it like that or not will be a matter of taste, but for me the raw fresh pour is that bit brighter and better. Well worth the very slight awareness of alcohol that comes with it. However at no point is this disappointing.

It opens in the aroma with some of my favourite elements to have in tasting notes – white chocolate and coconut. It is very easy and gentle. The body then fills that up, honeyed and sweet, with shortbread back and into light oak. All throughout you get touches of the other elements, honey until the end, touches of oak up front, but emphasised in different proportions at different times, giving a nice progression despite the similarity of elements.

It is a real sweet dessert whisky, but with that coconut it is dried just enough that it is never sickly, more like a white chocolate macaroon. A utter delight of a whisky.

Background: Drunk at Brewdog Bristol after a recommendation. Most whisky is aged in barrels previously used to hold bourbon or sherry – this instead is aged in previously unused American oak. very interesting. Also Auchentoshan triple distil their spirit, so this should be very smooth.