Down to the Lowlands and an Auchentoshan that’s been matured in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel. Sweet, Fruity & Mellow profile.
Nose: Earthiness is immediate and delivers both mushrooms and wet leaves. It is livened by citrus (both lemons and limes), marshmallow, sour juicy berries (balsamic laced cherries) and barley water. Herbalness is also present and, when mixed with the berry elements comes across as a steeped fruity tea. The addition of water heightens the fruit element, lifting away from both sourness and earthy notes – strawberries and raspberries are now quite pronounced.
Taste: A spicy arrival delivers ginger, cinnamon and something akin to mustard seeds. Earthiness is present, but reduced from the nose, and is joined by some meat flavours - a joint of honey-roasted ham perhaps? Sweetness derives from red berries, with some light touches of orchard fruits – apples and pears. A few drops of water again heightens the fruit elements, adding a dusting of sugar as well as some delicate stone fruits.
Finish: Medium to long with nicely fading fruitiness, and a good sprinkle of ginger and cinnamon still lingering.
A solid fruit-driven Auchentoshan that has a good balance between spirit and cask. Natural earthiness mingles and combines with berry and orchard fruitiness to make for a refreshing whisky that has just enough spicing to lift the experience up a notch or two. Better with a few drops of water to my palate, but regardless, very suitable for sipping as we head into the warmer summer months.