Auchentoshan 18 Year Old
Auchentoshan is new to me. I first tried it last month when I was staying in a hotel in Paisley. After arriving late we decided to have a night cap. We went to the bar and I asked what Scotch they had and the bar man pointed to a bottle of Bells that was on the optics. Must try harder. So, after a rummage, the Auchentoshan Three Wood was brought out and I was in for a treat. I hadn't the foresight on that evening to take any notes on it, but I remember being impressed enough that I took a picture of the bottle to remind me to try it again!
This distillery prides itself on its heritage but not in the way you might expect. Whisky is frequently made in remote areas that have traditionally been difficult to access but not Auchentoshan. Located a short distance from Glasgow City center, the website proclaims that they 'were forged in the fires of the Industrial Revolution.' The imagery used evokes a much different, but no less romantic, picture of the distillery's history. Self-admittedly 'anything but traditional,' the reference to revolution is clearly how the distillery has modelled itself. The notable example of this is the triple distillation process used, which takes the spirit up to around 81% alcohol by volume (obviously it is not bottled at this level; that would be madness). Auchentoshan is the only distillery in Scotland that uses this process, stating that it produces fruitier notes. They also modestly claim that Auchentoshan is the smoothest and most delicate single malt whisky as a result.
Appearance: Deep Gold.
Nose: Sweet and friendly; prominent vanilla notes with toffee. I did a wash around the glass (see below) and picked up floral notes that reminded me of a garden in Spring coming into bloom.
Taste: Buttery smooth; nutty towards the back of the palate. I got walnut; Auchentoshan say almond. The sweetness is still there in an understated way so as to not overpower; notes of butterscotch come through when nuttiness subsides.
Finish: Long with the butterscotch lingering at the back of the palate. I have to give it to them, it is exceptionally smooth!
This was an absolute treat of a dram and a great introduction to the distillery. The Three Wood was good; the 18 was great!
A wash around the glass is when you have a small amount of whisk(e)y left in the glass and you four the inside by rolling the liquid around. It creates a greater surface area for evaporation and allows the more delicate nuances to be picked out. For the life of me I can't remember where I heard about this but it really does work!