This Auchentoshan is one of several Scott’s Selection releases from the mid-2000s. While the Longmorns and Glen Grants and the Port Ellens released around the same time have long disappeared—and are now commanding massive premiums on the secondary market—and the Linlithgows, Glen Mhors and Highland Parks have also now mostly been purchased, this and some others continue to languish on shelves around the country. Even as I type, at least three whisky geeks in different parts of the country are looking at bottles of Scott’s Selection Auchentoshan, Bunnahabhain. Glenlivet, Benromach, Craigellachie and Mannochmore in specialist stores and are wondering whether to give in to the temptation to buy them. In a couple of minutes they will decide against the purchase because there’s no information out there on the quality of these bottles. That was me for many years. But then Binny’s recently put a number of these stragglers on major sale and four of us split a bottle each of this Auchentoshan, a Bunnahabhain 1988-2004 and a Glenlivet 1977-2004—Michael K. and Jordan D. will probably review their portions at some point soon (the deplorable, blog-less Florin was the fourth). As I’ve reviewed very few Auchentoshans of any kind I decided to start with this one—I’ll review the other two later this month (or maybe next) as well. Continue reading
I think I can say safely that this is the oldest Auchentoshan I’ve ever had. I’ve not had too many Auchentoshans of any age, actually—I’ve not been a big fan of most of what I’ve had and have therefore not sought out much more. On the one hand, the general profile seems to fall in an acidic bourbon cask spectrum made all over the Speyside; on the other, there’s been something a bit weird about most of the few I’ve had that I can’t quite describe (though I did like this 14 yo from Cadenhead’s). Anyway, I’ll be interested to see what longer aging has done to this cask, which was bottled jointly by Whisky Fässle and Whiskybase (for their Archives label). It seems to have divided opinion on Whiskybase quite widely—there are a lot of ratings for it and they go evenly from the high 70s to the low 90s. Consequently, perhaps, this is still available.
The second in a series of eight reviews of recent Cadenhead’s Small Batch releases. I have to say I’m not the greatest fan of Auchentoshan–not that I’ve had that many–and I’m hoping this 14 yo will be to my liking and at least better than the Valinch (2011) that I reviewed some months ago.
Auchentoshan 14, 1999 (55.1%; Cadenhead’s Small Batch; bourbon barrel; from a bottle split with friends)
Nose: Malt, citrus and candied ginger. Some sharp wood below that. Smells younger than it is but smells good. With more time the wood is pine/eucalyptus. Very fresh even as it gets sweeter. And I may be dreaming but I think I’m getting clear notes of juniper now too. Water brings out some vanilla. Continue reading
Auchentoshan is one of the few remaining distilleries in the Lowlands, producing triple-distilled whisky as was once traditional there. (It is not clear if the other two operational Lowland distilleries whose malts are on the market, Glenkinchie and Bladnoch, have any triple-distilled whisky out there.) I have very little experience of Auchentoshan–I’ve tried the Classic (which does not sport an age statement) and the 12 on separate occasions a good while ago and neither impressed me overmuch. The Valinch is, I believe, the cask strength version of the Classic and, in the US at least, has seen two releases: in 2011 and 2012. The sample I am reviewing tonight is from the 2011 release.