On Monday I had a review of two red wine cask finished Benromachs; I did not care for either one very much. Today, I have a whisky from another Speyside distillery, but this one is altogether more conventional. It’s from Auchroisk, a distillery that does not have too much of a reputation but which often produces single bourbon casks that are rather fruity and pleasant. See, for example, this older one from the Binny’s/Signatory combo that I rather liked some years ago and this one—also from 1988—that I liked just a bit less. This Blackadder was bottled much earlier than the Signatory and the Cadenhead’s—all the way back in 2007, in fact.
The sample came to me from renowned parakeet breeder, Florin. He was his usual taciturn-bordering on sullen self at the time of exchange and I have no idea what he thinks of the whisky. I’m sure he’ll be around soon to tell me I’ve got it all wrong. That’s the kind of person he is—I expect it comes from all the nights spent playing romantic music to parakeets to get them in the mood. Anyway, let’s get to it (as he likes to say when the covers are on the cages).
Auchroisk 18, 1988 (46%; Blackadder; cask #8954; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Malty and fruity (apples, pears) with a touch of wax. With more time there’s some cereal but no other development to speak of. With a fair bit of water (probably down to 40% or below) the fruit gets more intense.
Palate: As promised by the nose though with less oomph—straightforward and simple. The mouthfeel is a bit thin. Not much development at first but after a while some oaky bite emerges and then expands and becomes a bit astringent. Water pushes the oaky/astringent notes back but doesn’t really bring out anything else.
Finish: Medium. Not much happening here. The oaky note slowly peters out. Nothing of note with water.
Comments: Drinkable enough in an anonymous way. No major flaws but also nothing to particularly recommend it. Not every cask merits a single cask release. Well, this has not been the best start to my Speyside series. Hopefully, the next one will turn things around. I’m not going by Auchroisk on this trip, by the way—though I’m not sure if they even have a visitor centre.
Rating: 78 points.
Thanks to Florin for the sample!