Type of whisk(e)y – Whisky (scotch).
How long has the whisk[e]y bottle been open? – Under 1 month.
Introduction to the whisk[e]y (casks used, distillery, is it a special release etc) –
Rum cask. You can only expect tropical fruit, sugar (specifically demerara) and a slight oiliness. One of 898 bottles so probably coming from 2 or 3 casks having been distilled in 2011 and bottled in 2021.
Auchentoshan itself doesn’t appear a huge amount as an indie bottling but can be found here and there alongside one of Beam Suntory’s other Scottish distilleries Glen Garioch and Ardmore. What you will rarely find is a Bowmore or Laphroig indie bottle. It is also one of 2 (that I know of) currently active distilleries to employ full triple distillation, the other is Springbank when recreating Hazelburn for a few weeks each year. Mortlach has calculated a 2.81 times distillation but I have never quite made sense of all that so have a look as you wish!
Appearance – This has what some might call ‘e150 caramel’ colour to it although it contains no such additive. Everything here is natural and untainted by additions. It coats the glass nicely and slowly drops evenly back down to the rest of the spirit so could be described as thin in some respects but also oily due to how slowly it drops again.
Nose – Imagine sniffing a slightly soda’d down Havana 7, perhaps a Havana 5 rum. There is a bit of the demerara I expected alongside some banana (actual not foamy) and at 47.5% there is nothing too intense of off-putting here. With water there isn’t too much change but what I do find is the spice on the palate comes to the nose more. Not offendingly so but it is there.
Palate – Caramel, milk chocolate and mouth coating cream. Imagine having a pint after brushing your teeth and you might be close to the spice and mouthfeel we have here. I realise that sounds unpleasant but this definitely is not so. On an earlier nosing and tasting I had found this to be like a salted caramel filled chocolate bon bon as it melts in the mouth and mixes. Don’t find that so much anymore, an indication that whisky can/does oxidise a little.
With water: Much the same but the salted caramel comes back a little alongside some discernible chilli flakes and cinnamon spice.
Finish – Warm and long lasting if you give it time to run down your throat. With water on the palate came salted caramel but on the finish it comes less so. Water also makes the finish a little more stunted and less memorable.
Overall thoughts – At £60ish quid from Luvians (though this was a pretty typical price across retailers) and 9 years old perhaps not as all I would do is play into the ever increasing price situation. Were it a tenner cheaper I might, it is a lovely and very drinkable dram that almost anyone could enjoy with some guidance. The light nature from the triple distillation also makes it somewhat unique in whisky land.
Have a look at the Car Mor range in any good whisky shop. They have some magnificent expressions and a little like James Eadie get overlooked as Indie Bottlers for the likes of Cadenhead and G&M. If you can find it, their 10 year old Fettercairn is another excellent option!
Notes – This whisky is non chill filtered and natural colour.
Pic credit – House of Malt
Many thanks to Jack, @scotchjak (Twitter) for submitting his tasting notes, both comprehensive and informative.Follow @scotchjak