Let us continue with this series of older whiskies. And following last week’s Tomatin 25, Caperdonich 27 and Ben Nevis 27, let’s stick with the “distilleries known for fruity whisky” theme. Like the Tomatin and the Ben Nevis, this Auchroisk was a recent release, and like the Tomatin it was distilled in 1988 and bottled by Malts of Scotland.
Auchroisk continues to not have much of a reputation, which means that independent releases of its whisky can be had for reasonable prices (there’s not much by way of official releases beyond the occasional inclusion in Diageo’s annual special release rosters; well, I guess there’s a “Flora & Fauna” release as well, but I don’t know how regular that is). I’ve not had so very many Auchroisks but have liked most of the ones I’ve had quite a lot, precisely on account of their fruity nature, especially past the age of 20. This 24 yo from Binny’s, in particular, stands out for its exuberant fruit, and I’m still kicking myself for not having got a second bottle. I liked this 27 yo (also from 1988 but bottled by Cadenhead) as well, but it was not quite as much of a fruit bomb. Let’s see where this one falls.
Auchroisk 28, 1988 (51.1%; Malts of Scotland; bourbon hogshead MoS 16020; from my own bottle)
Nose: Bright and fruity to begin (grapefruit, apples, lemon peel) with cereals and toasted oak right behind. With time there’s some tart-sweet melon and a growing pepperiness. Muskier and maltier with a bit of water.
Palate: Pretty much as promised by the nose with more of an oaky (but not tannic) bite. Nice mouth-coating texture and a good drinking strength. With time the fruit is brighter (lemon, apricot) and there’s a nice bit of malt to go with it. With even more time the fruit develops tropical accents (touches of guava and passionfruit). Let’s see what water does. It knocks the oak back and makes it sweeter.
Finish: Medium-long. At first there’s lingering oak and white pepper but then there’s a sudden fruity burst (muskier notes of melon, a bit of peach). The oak and pepper return for the last impression. The fruit expands with time and gets muskier and the oak recedes. As on the palate with water.
Comments: Lovely, fruity bourbon cask goodness. You have to be patient to let the fruit develop; this is one to drink slowly. I preferred it neat (but you have to let it sit for a good while).
Rating: 89 points.
(These notes were taken right before the bottle got to the half-full mark. I didn’t realize until the bottle was finished that I’d failed to photograph it while it was on the go.)