Auchentoshan distillery is located on the outskirts of Clydebank, Glasgow just beside the Kilpatrick hills.. The distillery can be traced back to around 1800 when a distillery named as Duntocher was mentioned which is believed to be what we now know as Auchentoshan.. Auchentoshan is unusual in that it practices triple distillation instead of the industry norm of double distillation. This is believed to produce a lighter more floral, sweeter whisky. Found in the ” Lowlands” area of Scotland’s whisky production, Auchentoshan is not a distillery that you will find any peat or smoke in, it is more of an delicate, floral whisky with some lovely ssubtle fruit flavours.. That is until more recently however ! The distillery is starting to produce some absolutely fantastic fully matured sherried whisky from both Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks as well as some absolute stunning wine cask “finishes” and full maturation.. Now don’t think that the distillery has not produced these casks before, the 1979 Oloroso sherry cask, 32yo is one of the best whiskies I have had the pleasure of, and a few bottles sit proudly on my shelf at home.. Today’s review however has been long over due and is one of the distilleries bottle your own, Distillery exclusives..
The idea behind these bottles is that when you have the privilege of visiting the distillery then you get the chance to take away a bottle as a keep sake, these bottles are generally a single barrel and are bottled at cask strength which makes them extra special.. This idea is found at more and more distilleries these days and means you can gat a rather great idea of the distillery profile..
So back to today’s bottle.. This bottle is from a Pedro Ximenez sherry cask # 133 and is bottled at 59.9% abv .. Distilled on the 24th of Feb 2004 and bottled on the 4th December 2016.. I have bottles 410, 419 and 422 of which today’s dram has come from 410.. This cask will be the last one picked by master blender Rachael Barrie..
Nose.. This takes its time to open but once it does you are treated to some delicious aromas that tease you into submission. Dates, raisins and figs give this a luxury feeling along with candied orange, dark chocolate and dark toffee.. Soft aromas of apple pie with cinnamon, aniseed and old leather mask some oak notes and the most subtle nutty scent..
Palate.. Those dark fruits dominate along with spices and some oak.. There is a touch of “Fisherman’s friends” sweets and quality dark chocolate with candied oranges.. Thick marmalade and touches of ginger lead you merely into some vanilla and toffee flavours.
Finish.. lingering with spices and oak.
Thoughts.. These casks can sometimes open quite quick and others take time, its all a matter of timing.. This one certainly makes you wait for it to release its secrets ! If you try to rush it you will miss just how good it is. There is a real kick from the alcohol and I’m sure most of you will want to add water in order to appreciate it more. The flavours really complement each other and the nose is quite Devine once your past the alcohol kick. Auchentoshan has always been known for its delicate notes but like the other sherry casks there is nothing gentle or subtle about this, you will find yourself with a well balanced, complex whisky if you allow it to open !