Tag Archive: Auchentoshan

Douglas Laing’s Provenance Single Cask: Auchentoshan 11 Year (Scottish Lowland Whisky: 11 Year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Very light and pale, with a slight brackish hue. Very slow streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Strawberry crème. Viscous alcohol notes. Dark Belgian chocolate. Pine cones and pine needles. Water adds peppermint, more water turns menthol.

Body: Warming. Grapes. Shortbread. Vanilla fudge. Oak. Lightly peppery. Water adds slight sulphur. More water adds creamy notes and lots of grapes. Cinnamon doughnuts.

Finish: Oaken. Pine spray. Menthol. Fudge. Strawberry crème. Water makes more menthol. Mint leaves. More water adds grapes, light cinnamon and Belgian black chocolate.

Conclusion:There are lots of different elements in this – ones I would never expect to see side by side. The most disparate elements never seem to overlap, instead you get each of the distinctly different elements coming out one after each other.

First aroma notes come out like Belgian chocolate and strawberry crème- yet the body after that comes out as tart grapes and light fudge. Then, as that goes out the strawberry crème comes back out in the finish.

On another run it was alcohol strong, piney and heavy on the aroma, going into a peppery body, then somehow out into menthol freshness in the finish. I’d like to claim that it is water, or time that makes this change – but while water does bring changes, it seems like any of the prior elements can return at any point.

So, to try and generalise a whisky that seems to actively resist categorisation – well, generally there are some grapes. Generally there are slight pine to pine cone notes. It is generally smooth but warming and generally there are some sweet notes behind that – be it toffee, chocolate of strawberry.

What is oddest, for all that is odd about this whisky, is that for all the odd notes, this does not actually really stand out as a whisky. It has the odd moments, as described above, but they all clinging around a solid but unexceptional whisky. Very contrary, no? Not bad, hard to sum up which is a value in itself. Not a must have, not one to avoid. Not bad.

Background: Yay, mini hip flasks of whisky- chances to try different experimentations without spending a vast amount on a full size bottle. It is especially nice with lowland ones like this as I can be a bit mixed on how I find stuff from this region. The Provenance lot, whisky taken from a single cask and bottled at just a tad stronger strength than normal, has been pretty solid so far. I grabbed it from Independent Spirit and put on Miracle Of Sound’s Level 8 while drinking – very cool drinking music.

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.

Auchentoshan: Three Wood (Scottish Lowland Single Malt Whisky: No Age Statement: 43% ABV)

Visual: A lovely rich mahogany and syrup colour.

Viscosity:  Quite fast thin streaks.

Nose:  Blueberry and fruitcake. Raspberries. Pencil shavings, honey and pineapple chunks.  Light oak. Slight treacle. Light smoke

Body:  Blueberry, golden syrup. Vanilla. Barley. Sherry. Light treacle. Very thick texture. Light summery floral.

Finish: Light charring, planed wood. Malt drinks. Slight chocolate. Slight spirit air. Ritz crackers.

Conclusion: I’ve got used to lowland whiskies having quite a light texture, so the thick feel of this whisky came as a complete shock.  A’bunadh was called to mind (though it’s not quite that heavy), though there is no way you would guess this upcoming surprise from the light and fruity nose.

That not a criticism by the way, the light blueberry that initially greets you is unusual, unexpected and a very refreshing entry into this unusual and fun whisky.

There’s a good chunk going on, its range is not the highest, but each element is very distinct and different. It does a have of a lot of contrast with the elements it does have and that makes it very interesting and keeps you watching for what’s coming next.

A flavoursome set of elements and a thick whisky that feels like cask strength in texture but not in alcohol burn making it an easy going drinkable drink.

From this whisky I’ve gained a whole new respect for the distillery.,

Background: I will admit usually lowland whisky and I don’t get along too well, and the previous Auchentoshan was considered ok but not great.  Offsetting that is this whisky has been aged in bourbon, which is then finished in Oloroso or Pedro Ximenez casks and I am a sucker for odd finish whiskys.

Auchentoshan 12 Year (Scottish Lowland Single Malt Whisky: 12 Years Old: 40% ABV)

Visual: Darkened golden syrup with light speckles.

Viscosity: A few instant streaks, then the rest slowly pucker, picking up pace as they descend.

Nose: Toffee and cream, syrup and marshmallow. Grass fields and light planed wood. Sugar sweetness. The nose weakens significantly with water.

Body: Golden syrup, vanilla extract and caramel ice cream sauce. Touch of lemon. Honeycomb and light malt chocolate with water.

Finish: Syrup, dry wood. Mashed grain. Fresh. Water adds nice chocolate elements to the finish and a little honey.

Conclusion: The nose on this is pretty decent, sweet toffeeness. The body and finish are much more generic sweetness. Not terrible, but somewhat lacking in character.

It does improve slightly with water, but this harms the main selling point – the nose, which loses a lot of its toffee character.

Not one that’s a top malt, but its not bad, just doesn’t play in the same league as its peers.

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