This Auchroisk is yet one more from my ongoing series of reviews of Cadenhead’s bottles I split with some friends. I’ve quite liked the few Auchroisks I’ve tried so far. Those were both middle-aged (see here and here). What will the story be with this not quite teenager from 2001? As per Cadenhead’s, “[I]n 2011 the character of Auchroisk was changed” with a 72 hour fermentation now employed in place of a 48 hour fermentation. They say that this bottle is “from the old style”. Unless I’m misunderstanding, surely no one has yet tried the new style. If the new fermentation regime was put into place in 2011, nothing distilled from it could be bottled as Scotch whisky till 2014 at the earliest. Or is this a typo and did the fermentation time change in 2001? Does anyone know?
Auchroisk 12, 2001 (59.3%; Cadenhead’s Small Batch; bourbon hoghshead; from a bottle split with friends)
Nose: Quite closed–let’s give it some time. Hmmm still pretty closed 5-7 minutes later: there’s some sweet fruit (pears?) but not much more. A minute or two later some citrus begins to peep out, but this needs water. Let’s take a sip or two first. Ah yes, with water the lime begins to expand and now there’s kaffir lime peel turning to citronella and some musky, malty sweetness to go with it.
Palate: Well there’s a bit more action on the palate– hints of biscuity malt, some peppery citrus–but it needs water here too. Oddly, it doesn’t taste very hot despite the high strength even though it’s obviously very tight for that reason. On the second sip there’s some malty sweetness along with the peppery citrus. With water all the suggestions turn to announcements. With quite a lot of time the sweetness is more simple syrup than malty.
Finish: Short’ish. Nothing very new.
Comments: This is not bad at all but doesn’t really have the fruitiness of the older Auchrosisks I’ve tried. It may be that it needs a little more water than I added tonight. I certainly didn’t get any of the toffee or cream mentioned in the official notes.
Rating: 83 points.