Straight-forward Auchentoshan – just a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel employed for 15 years of maturation. Spicy & Dry profile.
Nose: ‘Cocktails’ is often used in SMWS bottle names – here it is more aptly deployed than most – freshly made margaritas with particularly zesty limes. These are joined by earthy tropical fruits – mango and pineapple – both a touch dusty. Bright florals, violets and lilies are sweetened with icing sugar and then deepened with just a touch of golden tobacco leaf. The addition of water brings out some underlying nuttiness as well as gentle hints of floor polish.
Taste: Orchard fruits on arrival – apples and pears. Both are quite zingy – almost sherbet-like. Bitter spicing from pepper and anise starts softly, but then steadily builds throughout the development. A touch of salinitity is present – salted peanuts perhaps. Around the edges oak tannins – but nothing too overt or over the top. Water adds tartness – grapefruit, as well as softening the crescendo of spices.
Finish: Incredibly long, with fizzing sherbet pear drops.
This Auchentoshan has a truly memorable finish – it’s staggeringly long and delivers plenty of liveliness. There’s a real journey to go on here – bright and crisp fruits at first, then roiling spice and ending with touches of oak and fizzing boiled sweets. Interesting, and quite solid indeed.